EJ’s mixologist has a peach of an idea for high summer
BY TOM RICHTER
PHOTOGRAPH BY DEBRA TRISLER
Asmash is a classic cocktail that combines fresh lemon, sugar, mint and either whiskey or gin. Traditionally, a half a lemon is cut up into chunks and then muddled or “smashed” with sugar and mint. Whiskey or gin is added, and the drink is topped with crushed ice.
Smashes are very refreshing, and extremely versatile, because you can and should use the fresh fruit of the season. With that in mind, in late summer, I like to make a version using the delectable, juicy and delicious peaches that Jersey is famous for, along with the mint we all probably have taking over our gardens or backyards!
Rye whiskey, a little spicier and less sweet than regular whiskey, blends extremely well with the peach flavor in this drink. There are many good ryes out there, but Michter’s happens to be one of my favorites.
- Cocktail shaker
- ¾-ounce and 1½-ounce jiggers
- Lewis bag or a blender to crush ice (A Lewis bag is a handy bar tool. Put ice cubes inside the canvas bag and whack it with the muddler, resulting in nicely crushed ice.)
- 5 fresh mint leaves
- ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- 1½ ounces Michter’s Rye whiskey
- Ice (4–5 cubes plus, crushed)
- Cut the pitted Jersey peach into 8 slices. Eat one of the slices (I love peaches, so maybe two.) Put 2 slices in the shaker with about 5 whole mint leaves.Tap it all with the muddler just enough to bruise the mint and lightly smash the peaches.
- Pour the lemon juice, simple syrup and rye into the shaker. Crush a bunch of ice in the Lewis bag or blender.
- Add 4 or 5 ice cubes to the shaker, and shake good and hard for about 5 to 7 seconds, so it smashes the peach and mint a little more.
- Dump the entire concoction into a double old-fashioned or highball glass. Don’t strain this one. We want the smashed chunks of fruit and mint in the drink!
- Fill with crushed ice and garnish with a few mint sprigs bundled together. (Serves 1).