Smoky Peach Margarita
Pour ingredients into a blender with 7 standard ice cubes and blend on high until no chunks remain, then serve in a 12 oz glass.
Garnish with a slice of grilled peach and a sprig of basil.
I’m a goal-oriented person. For example, every summer my goal is to eat as many peaches as possible. To that end, I’ve decided to use them this week’s cocktail, but how?
It’s been hot as blazes all week, so we’ve been cooking most meals on the grill. Why not grill the peaches for a smoky flavor? From there, my mind wanders to mezcal, and I decide to make a peach margarita. Although my frozen drink consumption is usually limited to tropical vacations, I think my backyard is hot and steamy enough to break out the blender.
Since a margarita isn’t a margarita without citrus, and basil pairs well with peaches, I decide to make another batch of the basil limeade concentrate I made last year for Her Name is Rio. So, while the coals are heating up, I cut 6 limes into fourths and throw them (skin and all) into a blender. I add the juice of the seventh lime, 1 1/4 cups basil and 4 cups of simple syrup, then blend until coarsely chopped but not puréed, which on the Vitamix is about 5 seconds on the four setting. While the mixture infuses for twenty minutes, I pit the peaches and cut them in half, cut a few wedges off for garnishes, brush them with pistachio oil (olive oil will do), and run outside to take pictures of my husband grilling them. He cooks them for about 4 minutes per side on a well-oiled grill, starting cut side down over the medium coals he’s piled on one half of the grill, then finishing them skin side down over indirect heat.
By the time the peaches are done, it’s time to strain the basil limeade into a pitcher. The recipe yields about 4 cups — plenty for this recipe and for making basil lime soda for teetotalers or kids by mixing it one-to-one with club soda.
Finally, it’s time to bust out the Vitamix. I try many variations before settling on 1 1/2 ounces of Espolón Reposado, 3/4 ounce mezcal, 1/4 ounce Cointreau, 1/2 a grilled peach, 1 1/4 ounces of basil lime concentrate, 7 standard ice cubes and a pinch of salt. I ratchet the blender up to high and turn it off as soon as no chunks of ice remain.
I pour the frosty concoction into a fun spaghetti glass I picked up at Peg Leg Vintage and garnish it with a wedge of grilled peach and a sprig of basil. While it retains all the whimsy of a frozen drink, the mezcal and grilled peach give it enough gravitas to move out of resort territory into your backyard.