Saturday, September 19, 2015

Impromptu: Peach Sunshine

Bear with me folks. Right as I was writing up my MxMo 100 post a month ago, I got a call that sent me into a tailspin (but from which I've largely recovered). Sitting down to type has been difficult since, though. I'll have more thoughts to share as I work through my backlog, but for now I figure the best way to stretch the blogging muscles is to dash off some of the less-than-prompt impromptus that have been piling up in the meanwhile.

So what do you do when you've hit the dog days of summer, have (at long last) just gotten a stack of Beachbum Berry books from Amazon, and are craving the mother's milk panacea known to man as coconut cream? You blend, baby, blend!

Then, once you work (ha! "work") through the Pain Killer, the Aurora Bora Borealis, several variations of the Pina Colada, and skip over the Chi Chi, you're left with half a can of coconut cream and a big blinking "what next?" sign over your head. It was about then that I posed the "coconut cream and a spice element" challenge to JFL over at Rated R Cocktails (I need to get some coconut milk so I can try the Lono Cup!). I had been noodling perhaps a more floral coconut-pisco-allspice dram recipe, but that'll have to stick in the back-craw of my brain for another time.

Instead, my eyes alighted on the good Jersey peaches my bf had brought over and that blinking slightly-fritzy sign over my head turned into a lightbulb!

It's time for this recipe to get published. It got a bit of a highlight over Labor Day weekend (cheers @MacCocktail!) and just today I got a needed kick in the rear when this sweet ditty showed up over on Stir & Strain. Elana's been doing great stuff with coconut cream this summer and completely hit it out of the park with a Pina Colada royale-type recipe. But yeah, there's a lot of similarity and here I am stewing around as a creative Hamlet (not in a good way) in the background.

The only nit I might have to pick is that, while both cocktails are perfectly good in their own right, this is annus 2015 of the Cocktail Renaissance and this is the cocktail blogosphere we're talking about. If a "Tropical Rum Peach Frozen Blended Cocktail" recipe hasn't been done yet, it and several similar ones (that arise from their concocters being in the same social and mind spheres) might well come along anyway, in short order or years down the road. Seriously, how many of us socially-networked cocktailians have absolutely delighted to see Tiki getting a huge spotlight this year, and wanted to go on a tear when the latest Tiki tipple from Rated R or cocktail virgin pops up in their feeds? If you expect a recipe to have lasting value, it would behoove it to have a proper name instead of being a generic no-name so people know what they're talking about. Besides, the T.R.P.F.B.C. is a mouthful of a name - surely there's something zingy that would suit the glassful of win that the cocktail is?

Peach Sunshine
half of a ripe peach, peeled, stone removed, slightly chopped
1 oz coconut cream (Coco Lopez or Goya preferred)
3/4 oz white grapefruit juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 oz gold rum (Prichard's)
3/4 oz madeira (Malmsey)
1/2 oz pisco
2-3 dashes allspice bitters
grated cinnamon and peach slice for garnish

Blend all but garnish with 4 oz crushed ice until smooth (add ice last as you're building).
Pour into goblet, garnish, ooooh..

Bright, fluffy, dreamy. Slightly-sharp peach powerhouse, resting on a luxurious coconut satin sheet, with warm hickory-noted rum, writhing Madeira-maple and spice beneath.

Moreover, while with some coconut cream cocktails you want nothing to get in the way of the mouth-coating richness as you sink into tropical paradise, sometimes there's more to it. Rated R Cocktails did a Pina Colada Redemption series a couple years back, whose recipes I tried out when working through that first half of the coconut cream this year. The Pina Colada (JFL Style) isn't entirely to my tastes - the lime juice is a tad too sharp, lemon might work better there. But there's a lot to consider in the entire series*, particularly the point about the Pina Colada not being a properly Tiki cocktail for its lack of balance. It's a total sweet bomb. The JFL Style adds more sour and a dash of bitters to the mix, which turns the drink more refreshing in nature. I kept that in mind for this recipe, not just with the citrus fruit but with the madeira as well, and it helps the peach pop like nothing else.

*go check out the Shipwreck, named after one of the best G.I. Joe characters!

The name itself is pure off-the-top-of-the-head when trying to combine peach and Tiki worlds, though on later checking I see it's been used in a lot in preserve and quickbread recipes too. A natural connection for many, no doubt. I almost considered calling this Twilight Peach for the darker spirits used, but the unfortunate young adult book linkages and perhaps getting called out as confusing Nintendo's two biggest franchises put the kibosh on that. Apropos and for the record, Gamecube enthusiasts, I do think this recipe would be fit for a 3-D Mushroom princess on vacation.