Lucy's Smoky Peach-Mint Juleps - end result is worth the fuss
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
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"When using mint, or any herb, in a cocktail, You NEVER want to break up a leaf — only express the oils," said Lucy, as she gingerly pressed mint leaves against the glass with a muddler.
My son Zan, and his partner, Lucy, invited me and Richard over for appetizers at their Detroit digs before our reservations at Roast. The highlight of this prelude to dinner was sampling another one of Lucy's signature cocktails, and I hovered next to her as she prepared our libation.
3-5 mint leaves, plus large sprigs for garnish
2 ounces good, full-bodied bourbon*
1 ounce of peach syrup (recipe follows)
Ice cubes or crushed ice
*Makers Mark 46, Elijah Craig 12 year, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses small batch
1. Place the mint leaves in a julep cup, or any glass or tumbler that accommodates 6-8 ounces. Gently press them in the bottom of the cup with a spoon or muddler, taking care not to break a leaf.
2. Pour bourbon and syrup into glass and top with a small amount of ice cubes or crushed ice to fill glass 3/4 of the way full. Stir gently until the outside of cup is frosty.
3. Top with additional ice. If using shaved ice, pack down to give it a bit of a snow cone effect. Slap the mint garnish against your arm to extract the oils, and place in glass.If you’ve created a snow cone effect, serve with straws for easier sipping.
Ingredients for Smoked Peach Syrup:
3-4 very ripe peaches, halvedSoaked wood chips for grilling, such as hickory 2-3 ounces simple syrup*
*A simple syrup may be made by combining equal parts white sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar, remove from heat and chill. Maple syrup or Demerara sugar may be substituted for the simple syrup.
Directions for Smoked Peach Syrup:
1. Prepare charcoal grill to high heat.
2. Place peach halves, face down, on cleaned and oiled grill grates and char. Using prongs, turn peaches over then toss hickory chips through grates over coals. Close lid to trap the smoke. Cook peaches until just falling apart and remove.
3. While peaches are hot, place in food processor with 2 ounces of simple syrup and puree. Add additional simple syrup to taste. (Note: it should be sweet, but not overly sugary.) Strain mixture through a mesh strainer and cool.
Peggy Lampman is a real-time food writer and photographer posting daily feeds on her website and in the Food & Grocery section of Annarbor.com. You may also e-mail her at email@example.com.