Fuzzy peaches are a quintessential joy of summer—they’re good in everything from salads to desserts and are especially satisfying on their own, when a juicy bite gushes down your chin. But the farmer’s market staple also exhibits a special power in cocktails. Because the fruit mixes well with all kinds of flavors and base spirits in its many cocktail-friendly forms—including peach brandy, peach syrup and crème de pèche—you can enjoy it in a diverse array of recipes no matter what time of year it is. Here, nine cocktails that show exactly what the powerful peach can do for your cocktail game.
The 9 Best Peach Cocktails
The Bellini is a workhorse, available at nearly any restaurant serving brunch from 11 a.m. on, often in bottomless quantities. But don’t take it for granted and discount it as a second-tier Mimosa. The fizzy peach drink produces a symphony of flavors and textures: Just take a sip and experience fruity euphoria as dry Prosecco fires juicy peach flavor up to your palate like a rocketship.
Peaches are a Southern staple, as is boozy iced tea. This grown-up version of peach-flavored Snapple will whisk you down below the Mason Dixon in no time. Half a peach gets sliced into a Mason jar and topped with tea, schnapps and vodka, so every sip is peachier than the last. And that’s just dandy if you ask us.
Lipton’s Iced Tea, to top
If you’ve ever watched a crowd of hungry fruit hunters crowd a farmer’s market stall for summer’s first peaches, you know that a lot of people have an affinity for the stone fruit. So the next time you host a party, serve all those peach admirers this crowd-sized peachy punch. Honey, crème de pèche and rosé create a seasonal Sangria of sorts, and the addition of vodka gives it a crowd-pleasing ABV.
Crème de Pèche
Mint and peaches are a smashing pair, as proven by this mocktail that’s based loosely on the Mint Julep. For the adults who want something a little more potent, mix in a measure of bourbon to discover a perfect trifecta of fresh flavors. The drink employs a homemade peach syrup, which allows you to control the sweetness of the cocktail and take advantage of the fresh fruit at its peak.
Can’t make it down to Georgia to experience the state’s premium crop of peaches? Experience the next best thing by taking a staycation in a lowball with this Old Fashioned variation that channels the Southern state’s bountiful orchards. Peach liqueur stands in for raw sugar, giving the drink a fruity sweetness that combines with oaty bourbon and coats your palate like a big bite of peach cobbler.
It may not be a highbrow cocktail bar order, but the Sex on the Beach is inextricably linked with the popularity of peach schnapps. The drink emerged from a competition among Florida bartenders to see who could sell the most schnapps during spring break in 1987. Say what you will about the cocktail, but you can’t deny the ingenuity. Relive the beach party fun by mixing one for yourself.
Mix peach with dry, nutty sherry and you’ll almost think you’re sipping peach pie in a glass. Using quality peach brandy infuses the cocktail with a deep, candied flavor, while triple sec adds a bit of brightness. The base of sherry also makes this drink a great low-proof aperitif option, but be careful not to go overboard with the fruity brandy on an empty stomach—it’s got some serious punch.
Some cocktails are awkward to order—others are just plain fun. The Fuzzy Navel falls in the latter camp: Half the joy is saying the name out loud to your bartender, while the other half is trying to keep up with the flavorful duo of orange and peach as they twirl around your tongue. They go down easy, though, and you’re glass will be empty before you know it—time to do it all over again.
Peach drinks don’t have to lean sweet: Delightfully bitter Suze brings an uncommon tart, honeyed quality to this take on the classic Bellini that’s only amplified by fizzy Prosecco. But just as in the original, crème de pèche holds its own in the flute, keeping peach in the spotlight as the bitter and herbal notes of lemon and tarragon frolick in the shadows of your palate. Give it a shot, and you might reconsider the Bellini forever.