The latest almost casualty in my ever-evolving heap of “I-bought-too-many-of-this-and-now-I-need-to-think-fast-or-it-will-go-bad” produce was an embarrassment of peaches. Notwithstanding the fact that my husband and sons like them hard and crunchy (really, don’t ask), even for a juicy peach lover, these rosy little orbs were about to tip into the land of no return.
Wondering if they might still manage to hold themselves together to make a crisp or a crostada, debating the idea of a parfait, and then, the clouds parted and the sunlight shone down: a drink! A fruity, coquettish, peachy cocktail! A cocktail and a mocktail.
In the magazines, people are always greeting their guests with homemade beverages, shining like little gifts on a serving tray. It always looks so civilized and gracious. At our house, this is usually the moment where I am looking for the corkscrew and hoping to find enough wine glasses without a chip on the rim.
But tonight would be different. Tonight I would open the refrigerator door when my guests arrived and casually say, “Would you care for a glass of Peach-Mango Bellini/Fizz/Spritzer?” (my lone mango was also looking a little languid), as though it were perfectly the norm for me to have whipped up a pretty, blushing cocktail, just because.
And I would have a bottle of sparkling wine AND a bottle of sparkling water on hand, so that I could make two versions, one for the imbibers and one for the kids and anyone else who was skipping the booze.
We tried it with both plain sparkling water, and lemon-lime seltzer, and both were delightful. Serve the drink in two different shaped glasses so one can tell at a glance which has alcohol and which does not.
Pair these with a little nibble, like some crostini. Try Roasted Pepper Crostini with Basil Oil or Lamb Crostini with Spiced Crème Fraiche and Herbs or Avocado And Cannellini Bean Crostini With Gremolata (below).
The puree is made, the champagne and sparkling water are chilling, and guests are on their way. Now what the hell did I do with that chicken…
A Peach Cocktail and a Mocktail for Mixed Company
- 1 ripe mango peeled and cut into chunks
- 4 large ripe peaches peeled and cut into chunks
- ¼ cup orange juice preferably fresh
- 1 tablespoon sugar or more to taste
- 1 bottle chilled Champagne Prosecco, or other sparkling wine, or sparkling water, or a combination
- In a blender, puree the mango, peach, orange juice, and sugar. Taste and add more sugar if the puree is not sweet enough.
- Fill tall glasses with ice. Pour 2 to 4 tablespoons of puree into each glass, then fill the glasses to the top with sparkling wine or sparkling water. You will want to add more puree to the mocktails, as the sparkling water doesn’t add additional flavor but the sparkling wine does. (You could also do this in champagne glasses, without the ice.) Give a very good stir, and serve with a straw. Possibly an umbrella.
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