There is an argument to be made in favour of peaches being the best part of summer. Unlike the perhaps more obvious mango, the peach is unassuming; unlike your own, their skin, covered in soft down, won’t blister in the furious, stifling heat; and unlike a day spent drinking, theirs is a mess easily cleaned up when taken out of hand.
The peach contains multitudes – ask any avid user of the emoji, Elio, Selena Gomez or Lana Del Rey. And unlike the best of your summer plans, a peach is near impossible to screw up. Apply lashings of heat under the guise of a cobbler, pie or crumble and you’ll be golden in no time. On the younger side of ripe, they’re best sliced wafer thin and laced through a salad. Left to their own devices in a hot, crowded bowl and they’ll likely turn on you in a few hours – pooling in their own juices, their flesh bruising where contact is made, the skin sporting a fine coat of mould in a final flourish of defiance. Who doesn’t love a passive aggressive stone fruit?
There’s little that’s bitter about a Peach Cobbler cocktail made when the fruit is at the height of its powers, especially one made with a distinctive gin blend that also features wild sea lettuce, native strawberry gum, lemon myrtle, peach and coconut. A renewed twist on the sherry cobbler, a cocktail that has its origins over 170 years ago and apparently enjoyed worldwide popularity during the late-19th century, the cobbler comes crowned with lashings of fruit and ice, so much so that it looks every part the perfect summer cocktail you know it to be.
“Once upon a time this drink was the Espresso Martini of its time, and unlike the Espresso Martini it was for good reason”, says Harriet Leigh, Head of Hospitality at the Archie Rose Distillery, whose newly released Coast gin provides the drink with a neat juxtaposition between the sweetness of the fruit and the saltiness of the sea lettuce. Relatively low in alcohol and without the espresso martini’s cloying sweetness, a cobbler lends itself readily to remedying the effects of a long, hot day. And provided you keep your simple syrup handy and your ice chipped, it is also surprisingly simple to make.
“It’s almost impossible to describe in words,” says Leigh, “but let’s give it a go. The Sherry (yes, you do like it; no it’s not just for grandmothers) gives a nutty, vinous note, the Coast a salinity that tempers the sweetness and the peach the hit of summer you so desperately wanted.”
1/2 Peach cut into small pieces
30ml Archie Rose Summer Gin Project: Coast
30ml Tio Pepe
30ml Lemon Juice
15ml Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio water to sugar)
Build with crushed ice, add a frivolous garnish of peach slices, fanned to demonstrate your superior dexterity.
Tile and cover image: Supplied