Please don’t leave. I know my pinterest feed has been hit by a tidal wave of pumpkin this, and pumpkin that, and the whole internet is a’buzz with this collective push for summer to be over and fall to be here, but really? It’s only August. And just last week, I found myself stopped at a roadside stand, pressing your blushing, sun-kissed skin to my nose and inhaling big, deep breaths of your sweet perfume.
Before the leaves start to turn, and the nights get cool, and the people start singing the praises of Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte — be a peach, and stay summer just a little longer. Okay?
I’ve talked about this a little bit before, but spending the first couple months of the season in the hospital, while my dad recovered from a head trauma, has made it very hard for me to come to terms with the date on the calendar. Of course, I don’t regret being there by his side, but it has made me especially careful not to get ahead of myself now that things have returned (mostly) to normal. I want to enjoy every moment, and every peach, summer has left to offer, and not rush for it to be over.
My dad’s injury put a hold on not just his life, but mine. One moment I was going along at a good pace, then everything came to a sudden halt. It’s taken me almost as long to recover from all the stress and sleep deprivation as it’s taken him to heal, and now that I’m starting to get back up to speed, I don’t want to race. I want to slow down, and appreciate things. Like sweet peaches, and the woodsy scent that rosemary leaves on my fingers after I pull the leaves from the branch.
To bring out even more of their natural sweetness, I grilled my peaches. (Also, because I finally own a grill and peaches are the perfect excuse to use it.) You could also roast them in the oven, or, if they are very ripe and juicy, leave them just as they are.
The rosemary simple syrup is exactly that — simply. Also, divine. Since using up my peaches, I’ve been adding it to juice, ginger ale, sparkling water, and even mixing a little into vanilla ice cream for a (surprisingly delicious) change of pace. Oh, and it makes a fantastic addition to a classic gin and tonic.
I really want you to make this syrup, just so we can chat about all the awesome ways to use it. I want to know what you find to add it to, because as far as I can tell, rosemary makes everything better.
- 2 peaches
- 2-3 oz. rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)
- Crushed ice
- Sprig of rosemary, for garnish
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Add the rosemary, and place over medium heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup has as strong a rosemary flavor as you like (the longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor will get).
- Remove the sprigs of rosemary, and let the syrup cool. Pour into a clean, tightly lidded jar, and store in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.
- Preheat your grill to a medium temperature. Turn off the burner(s) on one side of the grill, or push the charcoal to only one side of the grate so that one side of the grill is hotter than the other.
- Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Lightly brush the cut side with a little oil to prevent stickage (I like coconut oil, but any neutral, high-heat oil will work), and place cut-side-down over the hottest side of the grill. Let cook for just a few minutes, or until lightly charred. Flip the peaches over, and move them to the cooler side of the grill. Close the lid, and let them roast for 3-5 minutes more, or until the fruit is softened and juices begin bubbling at the surface.
- Add the grilled peaches to your blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Strain the peach nectar through a fine mesh sieve, and refrigerate until completely chilled. You should have about ¾ cup.
- Once the peach nectar has cooled, add 2-3 oz. of rosemary simple syrup, to taste (the amount will depend on how strong your syrup is, and how sweet your peaches are).
- Add about ½ cup of the peach and rosemary mixture to a tall glass with ice (for two large cocktails), or about ¼ cup to a not-so-tall glass (for four small cocktails) and top each glass with prosecco. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary, and serve.
Makes about 1½ cups of rosemary syrup
I grilled my peaches to bring out even more of their natural sweetness, but you could just as easily roast them in the oven (350 degrees F., until soft and oozing with bubbly juices). Or, if they are very, very ripe, leave them just as they are.
To make this drink into a sippable soda, suitable for the whole family, swap the prosecco for ginger ale, or sparkling water.