I love taking advantage of seasonal ingredients in my cocktails, it's a great way to bring freshness and intense flavors to happy hour. It's also a way to bring healthy to happy hour, something that's a large part of my cocktail mission. When I got my hands on some early cherries and some beautiful peaches all I could think of was muddling them in a glass and splashing booze all over them. Everyone else might be thinking pies or fruit salad, but not me, I make a beeline to the bar.
My only problem was what spirit to use. I'd had a particularly long, stressful day and wanted to taste the booze in my drink but still enjoy the tang and sweetness of my ripe cherries and peaches. I waffled back and forth between rum and whiskey, both being good playmates for cherries and peaches, but finally settled on whiskey because it has an effect on me much like a good massage that ends in a gentle kiss. This was exactly what my body and soul needed and just what my two ripe, juicy drupes called out for.
I picked Gentleman Jack because it's a slightly sweeter version of Jack Daniels. With forward notes of caramel and vanilla, a fruity taste on the palate and a soft burn, it seemed a good match for my sweet summer fruits and my mood. Jack did not disappoint, he was a gentleman ... and a heck of an 80 proof masseur.
2 Oz. Whiskey
8 Fresh Cherries, Pitted, Sliced
Half a Fresh Peach (minus 1 slice for garnish), Peeled, Cubed