09 Mar // Friday drinks: the black peach Tom Collins

I am frantically hitting publish on this post with your best interests at heart, because peach season has about five minutes left and I think you should make this cocktail. Never fear: pear season follows, and this drink is most excellent with pears and rosemary instead of peach and thyme, but last Friday when I was home alone and still working I realised I had black peaches, gin, and a withering, de-zested lemon at my disposal, and so I ditched the thyme and made myself one of these and reader, it was glorious. 

The name black boy peach makes me (and this guy) cringe every time I see it, so after considering some alternatives (purple ombre, bright maroon) I decided to instead just drop the boy part and therefore am now just calling them black peaches. They grace us at the latest of summer, as the mornings crisp up but the sun still shines, and they're tart but sweet and very very good. Excellent in a caprese, delicious in a cocktail.

This drink turns the peach into a syrup that's a lovely intense purple, and like it's main ingredient, the drink becomes that perfect mix of tart and sweet, like any good Tom Collins should. A tangy pick-me-up for a Friday back in the freelancing game, and the perfect aperitif to your weekend. Happy Friday x

The black peach tom collins

A version of this recipe was first published in my Herald on Sunday column. Original recipe here.  

Makes two. 

For the peach sugar syrup - 

2 black peaches

1 cup water

1 cup white sugar 

2 sprigs fresh thyme (optional) 

Cut the peach in half and remove the stone, and then cut each half into four pieces. Place in a small saucepan with the sugar, water, and thyme. 

Gently heat, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and remove the thyme sprigs. Leaving the peach chunks in the syrup, set aside until ready. You can make the syrup in advance, and it will keep in the fridge about a week.

For the cocktail - 

Place four chunks of the peach and 6 tsp of the syrup into a cocktail shaker and muddle well. Fill with ice and add the lemon juice and the gin. Shake well until combined. Taste and adjust lemon or syrup according to taste (I like my Tom Collins' pretty tart, but it's all about balance and personal preference).

Fill two glasses with ice and evenly add the mixture. Top with soda water. Garnish with thyme, a peach slice, or lemon. 

Feel instantly relaxed and have an excellent weekend.