(wasn't I cute?)
When I was say, 7 or 8 years old I caught a nasty virus that had me bed ridden for days. My father felt bad for me and surprised me one night when he came home from work with the Annie soundtrack from the Broadway play (on vinyl ~ holla!) to cheer me up. I listened to that album on repeat until I am sure my mother was lamenting her "Hard Knock Life" and dreaming about "Tomorrow" when I would hopefully tire of it and stop playing it. Unfortunately for her, once I was back on my feet I not only incessantly played the album but began to use the hearth of our fireplace as my "stage" where I would reenact the entire show. Again and again and again and again.
THEN the movie came out in 1982 with Carol Burnett (game changer!) bringing the whole thing to life and renewing my obsession with that spunky little redhead. I saw it in the movies and when the betamax tape came out (showing my age here) I naturally watched it on repeat. One of the scenes long burned into my memory was of Miss Hannigan and her bathtub gin. When she sank into the whole tub of it? Hilarious! Although truthfully, I may not have fully understood what was really going on, but her garbled drunken mannerisms were definitely funny to a young kid.
As an adult I came to understand what was up with gin and why Miss Hannigan would immerse herself in a tub of the stuff. It's like the nectar of the Gods. Seriously. Smooth, refreshing; to be honest I have often thought I could be quite content soaking in a tub the stuff myself. It's that good. With a generous splash of tonic, it has long been my go to drink. Add a hefty squeeze of lime juice and one to garnish the glass and it just screams "Summer!"
I am sure you are thinking "Why is she going on and on waxing poetic about gin when I thought this blogpost was going to be about bourbon?" Well, I am just getting to that part.
While gin and tonic has always been my summer drink, bourbon (ah, here we go!) and whiskey have been my favorite fall/winter liquors for the past couple of years. I have shared about my love for the old fashioned before, and this summer's fresh produce has me rethinking my seasonal drinking habits. Slowly sipping this powerful drink is pleasurable enough, but the liquor soaked fruit in the bottom of your glass is equivalent to the prize at the bottom of the cereal box. With each bowl you eat, the anticipation of getting to that trinket builds and builds. Same thing with the old fashioned. Each sip you take gets you closer to that fruit patiently waiting at the bottom.
When I found myself grabbing the bourbon off the bar again in order to whip up these delicious Peach Old Fashioned's I started thinking that maybe the old days of gin and tonic are doomed to obscurity like betamax and vinyl. And my old hearth dancing days.
Summer Peach Old Fashioned
Muddle a few peeled and pitted peach slices (be generous), two maraschino cherries (the more the merrier), two dashes of Angostura bitters and one scant teaspoon of sugar in the bottom of a small rocks glass. Add ice then top with 2oz. of good bourbon. Give it a gentle stir. Add a few small peach slices to the top for garnish and because they will just sink to the bottom and marinate in all the goodness.