While some may take issue with the heat, one trip to the local farmers’ market is all it takes to confirm that there is much to love about mid-summer. As Chef Gregory Gettles of Durham’s Piedmont Restaurant notes, “Heirloom tomatoes are aplenty, beautiful squash is abundant, but most importantly, peaches dominate.”
With their sweet flavor and fragility, peaches are one of summer’s prized features, and thanks to Gettles, we now know how to pick a perfect one. When asked to weigh in on how he likes to celebrate peach season, Gettles immediately won our hearts. “Cobbler is quick and easy, marmalade preserves my hard work at market for the dark times (months without peaches), but my favorite use for fresh peaches is a cocktail that encapsulates the essence of summer.”
As one would expect from a chef who expertly highlights locally grown ingredients in delicious and innovative ways, the cocktail in question, a “New Fashioned,” is phenomenal. Combining peaches and blueberries (and, of course, bourbon), it’s the perfect summery twist on the traditional drink. If you’re not lucky enough to be in Durham to stop by Piedmont for Gettles’s take, making your own is the next best thing. We recommend sipping one while perusing Gettles’s latest farm-inspired adventures.
PIEDMONT RESTAURANT’S NEW FASHIONED
2 slices of ripe peach (skinned)
2 ounces of bourbon
Bitters (orange or peach)
Place the peach slices, blueberries, and orange zest in the bottom of a double Old Fashioned glass. Pour 1 ounce of simple syrup over the top and add 3 dashes of bitters (we prefer Regan’s Orange Bitters or Fee Brothers Peach Bitters).
Muddle the ingredients carefully to mash the blueberries and get the peach juice out of the slices. Pour 2 ounces of bourbon (Buffalo Trace works wonders) in to the glass, making sure to pour it over the muddler so you get all the goodness off. Fill the glass with ice, then dump contents into a mixing tin, swirl once, and return to original glass. Taste for sweetness. If the drink is too strong, cut it with a splash of club soda. If the drink isn’t sweet enough, incorporate a bit more simple syrup.
Piedmont Restaurant // Durham, NC // 919.683.1213