Fruit Smash Cocktails

Tequila Peach Smash from CaliZona

Tequila Peach Smash from CaliZona

Summertime is fruit time. Take advantage of that juicy, sweet summer fruit by smashing it up in a cocktail! Aside from being delicious, it’s a great way to use up fruit that’s a little on the mushy side.

Plum Smash ~ Plum and thyme is a refreshing combination that only gets better when bourbon is involved.

Balsamic Strawberry Smash ~ Balsamic vinegar gives a new dimension to the ordinary strawberry in this fun cocktail.

Fontana Pisco Smash ~ Pisco, red grapes and Reisling = three times the grapes, for three times the fun.

Tequila Peach Smash ~ How can you not want to drink a boozy peach? Answer me that! Sub in another liquor if tequila is not your thing.

Blueberry Smash ~ Blueberry, vodka and St Germain are a match made in heaven.

Honey Barbecue Plum Cocktail

bbqplumcocktailThe grill is already out for summer anyway, so why not grill your cocktail? (Or rather, grill the fruit that goes in the cocktail. No glasses or shakers on the grill!)

I got together with Savvy Housekeeping, and that’s exactly what we did. And it’s delicious … just not in the way that we expected. We thought it would just add a smoky flavor to our drink. But grilling did so much more.

Putting the plum on the grill for a bit deepened the plum’s flavor and brought out the sweetness and brightness of the fruit. We were using nice plums that were a little on the tart side, and the grilling brought out the natural sugars and helped the plum blend better with the other flavors in the cocktail.

So grilling is a nice way to improve slightly tart fruit (and let’s face it, supermarket stone fruits are usually too tart). Have some fruit that is a little disappointing? Get that grill out! It’ll make a great cocktail.

Honey Barbecue Plum Cocktail

1 plum
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
3/4 ounce honey liqueur (you can make your own)
1/2 ounce agave nectar (sub simple syrup if needed)
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Cut the plum in half and remove the pit.Grill the plum on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to caramelize and you see grill marks. Turn over and let it cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes, until the plum is soft. Remove from the grill.

In a cocktail shaker, combine all the ingredients except the bitters. Muddle the plum thoroughly. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice. Put on the lid and shake for at least a solid minute, or until ice starts to form on the outside of the container. This is especially important if the plum is still hot. You don’t want a warm cocktail.

Strain the drink into a glass. Add a drop or two of Peychaud’s bitters.

Photo by Savvy Housekeeping

Orange Cocktails

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Seven Foals Cocktail from 10th Kitchen

While some of these cocktails are orange in color, I’m talking about orange the fruit! Here in winter time, a lot of the exciting fruits aren’t available. (Or if they are, they’re not in top form.) So let’s not forget the trusty (and delicious) orange. Winter cocktail time!

Roasted Orange Negroni Sbagliato ~ This Negroni variation made with vermouth has an extra level of oomph, thanks to the flavor of a charred orange wedge.

Red Lion Cocktail ~ This simple concoction of gin, triple sec, lemon and orange juices is refreshing and light. Best of all, it’s made with ingredients most home bars always have on hand.

Seven Foals Cocktail ~ For a more complex and layered drink, try this one. Orange, fennel, dry vermouth, aquavit, and celery bitters and a Pernod rinse! (You can use homemade aquavit, DIY celery bitters, and even  homemade pastis.)

Painkiller ~ Tiki Time! Orange, coconut, pineapple, and rum will make you feel like you’re on a sunny beach no matter what winter throws your way.

Orange Basil Gimlet ~ The original is made with blood oranges, but you can also use plain old oranges for an amazing gimlet twist.

Cantaloupe Cocktails

Borderline Escape from Saveur

Borderline Escape from Saveur

Cantaloupe. It’s not just for breakfast. Late August is a great time to get juicy, flavorful cantaloupe—whether it’s from the supermarket, farmers market, or your own garden. It’s an easy fruit to convert into a cocktail ingredient. You could also try any melons similar to cantaloupe, like gaia or ambrosia melons. No melon liqueur necessary! (Although if you want to use your fresh fruit to make your own melon liqueur that will kick Midori’s butt any day, try this simple DIY melon liqueur recipe.)

Pimm’s and Cantaloupe ~ I’m a big fan of Pimm’s, and this simple sparkling recipe is a refreshing way to use the stuff besides the famous Pimm’s Cup.

Cantaloupe Cooler ~ This vodka cocktail has a little lemon, cucumber, pepper, and basil to bring excitement to the humble cantaloupe.

Borderline Escape Cocktail ~ Cantaloupe and tequila are a fantastic pairing. Add chili, lime, and salt … and you’re on your way to a summer party drink.

Cantaloupe Cocktail ~ A little gin and ginger turn cantaloupe into a sophisticated tipple for brunch or sunny afternoons.

Melon Rumballa ~ Use a combination of melons for this fun rum punch to make it colorful, or stick with whatever melon you have on hand. Who said a melon baller wasn’t a practical tool?

Peach Cocktails

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Grilled Peach Whiskey Sour from Serious Eats

One of the best things about summer is it’s the only time when you can get good peaches. If a few precious peaches are bruised or a little mushy (but still good!), they’re perfect for cocktails. Here are some delightful summer drinks starring our delicate friend the peach.

Ginger Peach Julep ~ Add some peaches to a classic Mint Julep and swap in ginger syrup for the sugar, and you have a fresh new take on one of the best cocktails out there.

Bitter Peach Bellini ~ Prosecco, Aperol, and peaches make for a light summer cocktail with a little more depth than the original brunch creation that inspired it.

Grilled Peach Whiskey Sour ~ While we’re jazzing up well-known drinks with peaches, how about throwing some fruit on the grill and muddling it into an upgraded Whiskey Sour? Sounds good to me.

Peach and Blackberry Muddle ~ Blackberries are another fantastic summer fruit, and there’s no easier way to liven up your drink than to smash some fruit in it!

Peach Blow ~ Reinventing classic drinks isn’t a new phenomenon. This cocktail from 1909 is a peachy version of one of my favorites, the Ramos Gin Fizz.