A few days ago it snowed (yes, SNOWED) here in Tucson. Today we are going to hit nearly 80 degrees. Such are the vagaries of the beginnings of Spring in Arizona, one minute you're tossing more mesquite wood on the fire and the next moment you're putting on shorts.

Somebody with a great sense of humor built little snowmen all throughout Saguaro National Park, here's one on top of a saguaro.

For cocktail lovers, the ending of winter means it's time to pull out your Collins and highball glasses and start thinking about tall, refreshing, low ABV* coolers again. You might want to tuck the brown booze off to the side and dust off your clear liquor bottles as well because hot weather and a burgeoning garden are both very friendly with gin, vodka, light rums, unaged whiskies and blanco tequilas.

With that in mind - and since it's National Peach Blossom Day - I thought I'd kick off the approaching spring and summer seasons with a cocktail that's been around for a while but in slightly different versions. I've seen recipes for peach blossom cocktails using a peach liqueur with either vodka or gin and, having tried both, I prefer the vodka. Gins can differ quite a bit in their botanicals and, if you choose the wrong one, it can overpower or conflict with the peach. Vodka doesn't have that problem, it's a much more amenable spirit when it comes to blending with delicate flavors, in fact, you can buy peach vodkas that enhance the peach experience.

Most of the recipes floating about the net are simply a mix of spirit, peach liqueur and either orange juice or ginger ale but I figure if you're going to make a peach cocktail put some real peach in it, I used frozen ones to help keep the cocktail cool. I leave out the orange juice, add some lemon to pop the sweetness of the peach and go with the effervescence of the ginger ale. This puts this cocktail in the Buck** category, making it a perfect drink for sitting outside and watching nature wake up from its winter nap.


1 Oz. Peach Vodka
1 Oz. Peach Schnapps
5 Oz. Ginger Ale

Garnish: Frozen peaches mixed in with the ice cubes, Mint leaves

Pour the vodka and peach schnapps into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes and frozen peach slices. Stir, top with ginger ale, pop the mint between your palms (this gently releases the oils into your cocktail), then place on top of the ice and enjoy.

* Alcohol by Volume

** A Buck is a cocktail or mixed drink that uses ginger ale or ginger beer, citrus juice and any of a number of base liquors.


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