Early Fall Cocktail

I came up with this little beauty while fishing some leaves out of my pool on an unusually cold day — what to do when it’s too chilly to swim? Make a drink.

The Early Fall Cocktail is based on the premise of a cold winter coming. Days before the Labor Day holiday, it’s freezing cold here in the Northeast and I wanted to concoct something truly American for the upcoming holiday.

The anchor of this cocktail is the Tuthilltown Manhattan Rye Whiskey, redolent with the flavors of late summer, and it’s easy to produce in large batches. Peaches are fresh now and grill beautifully.

The Early Fall Cocktail

  1. Heat a charcoal grill. Grill slices of peaches until uniformly brown and caramelized.
  2. Add ice, rye and vermouth to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  3. Chill, don’t shake. Add bitters.
  4. “Purée” the peaches with a cocktail muddler. Add 2 tablespoons of the grilled peach mash to a sterling silver julep cup and add some crushed ice.
  5. Pour rye and vermouth mixture into the sterling silver julep cup.
  6. Mix carefully with a wooden mixer — never use metal on silver (you know by now that’s my pet peeve).
  7. Serve with grilled corn and barbecued ribs that have been marinated with peaches and rye whiskey.