Name That Grilled Peach-Sea-Salt-Caramel Cocktail

Zip-Bam-Boom another glorious summer is gone (sniff) leaving me melancholy. So, Mr.Summer-that-flies-by-too-quickly, I sing to you in the voice of  the lovely Peggy Lee back in 1969:

Is that all there is? If that’s all there is my friends then let’s keep dancing— let’s break out the booze—- and have a ball. If that’s all—- there is.

And what better way to have a ball than with the end of summer flavors? Grilled, smokey peaches flavored with  the sea, caramel and lovingly mixed up with bourbon. These grilled peaches are heaven on earth. When I finally nailed down how I wanted these to taste I took one bite and said, “Come to Mama, baby!” Make extras, slice them and add to a green salad with some creamy goat cheese

Did you know peaches have been grown and cultivated here in New Jersey since the 1600’s? By 1683 wagonloads of NJ peaches were commercially available in New York markets. In the mid 1800’s New Jersey was well known for its peach orchards with 4 million trees producing fruit by 1890. Sadly, the disease San Jose Scale spread to the state and wiped out over 2  million trees by 1920.

New Jersey produces between 1.5 million and 2.5 million bushels a  year at 50 lbs per bushel whereas Georgia produces about 74 million lbs. per year.Yet they claim to be ahead of us in peach production. Well, we ain’t just the peach state we are THE GARDEN STATE.

Ever wonder why Jersey peaches are so darned delicious? The way New Jersey is situated makes the peach crops more consistent than any other state. IN YOUR FACE, GEORGIA!

Here is how you mix it up:

  • 3 medium yellow peaches cut in half, pit removed
  • Sea salt or kosher salt
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Bourbon
  • Ice
  • One stem of fresh mint
  • Fresh lemon

Makes two drinks

Sprinkle each peach half with a pinch of salt. Let them sit for about 5 minutes then fill the pit’s cavity with a nice spoonful of brown sugar (about a teaspoon). Clean your grill well–you don’t want the peaches to taste of chicken or salmon–and turn it on. Over a medium-high flame, grill your peaches skin down flesh up for about 10 minutes. You want your peaches soft, the sugar caramelized a bit and some nice black grill marks on the bottom of the peaches. Let the peaches cool to room temperature. In a blender combine peaches, three shots of bourbon, two tablespoons of brown sugar, the leaves from one stem of mint and about 10 ice cubes. Blend well and at this point, taste to see if you would like a bit more salt or brown sugar (it all varies with the type and quality of peaches).When the flavor is to your liking pour in a tall glass and add a small squeeze of lemon and say, “Hot damn, she did it again!.”

If you want to go wild–and why not, I ask you?–head over to Let’s Yo and pick up some of their Sea Salt-Caramel yogurt and top off your cocktail.

I call Peaches and Beam for my name. What do you think we should call this heavenly cocktail?

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