THE PEACHES ARE HERE! THE PEACHES ARE HERE!
Peach season is my absolute favorite. A ripe, fresh peach, perfectly ripe, is the definition of heaven. From the gentle fuzz to the intoxicating aroma to the insanely juicy first bite that drips down your face, peaches are hands-down the best part of summer. So when I visited the farmer’s market this past Saturday and found the first locally grown early peaches, I was ecstatic. I bought a reasonable amount this weekend, but mark my words: I will buy an insane amount of peaches before the season is over.
Most will end up straight in my belly. (I’ve even been known to dig into one in the car on the way home from the market – whether that means I have no shame, or just that I shouldn’t wait for something so delicious, I’m not sure, but I’m going with the latter.) But some will hopefully end up in new, delicious summer recipes, like this one.
I was hoping for something refreshing. It’s warming up this week, and it’s humid, so a lemonade seems just perfect. The addition of peaches means that this lemonade is sweeter, but it’s certainly not sticky. The balance of fresh flavors and the sweet peaches means this is a welcome beverage to accompany an evening sitting on the porch, or out by the pool. It’s kid-friendly, but if you want to make it more of an adult beverage, I have no doubt a few ounces of white rum would be right at home here.
As soon as you find some summer peaches near you, though, I highly recommend you snatch them up. The season comes and goes all too quickly, and this lemonade needs to be on your short list of peach-related treats. Hope you enjoy!
Sparkling Peach Lemonade (gluten-free, vegan)
1 c water
1/2 c sugar
1 T grated lemon zest
2 large peaches, roughly chopped
1/3 c fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 c cold sparkling water or club soda
Peach slices, lemon slices, and mint sprigs for garnish
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, sugar, lemon zest, and peaches. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in the lemon juice.
Puree mixture in a blender, and strain in a fine-meshed strainer placed over a bowl, making sure to press the solids to squeeze all that delicious flavor into the juice. Chill the juice thoroughly for several hours.
Pour the juice and sparkling water into a pitcher and add the peach slices, lemon slices, and mint. Serve well-chilled over ice.
Makes about 4 servings.