It’s summer and trees are heavy with stone fruits. Nectarines, freckled with yellow, orange and red, drip with abundant juice. Peaches, heavy and fuzzy like an animal, feel alive in your hand. Plums—purple, ruby and gold—are so ripe they glisten like translucent jewels.
With fruit this good, it’s hard not to want to buy a lot. Problem is, what to do with it all? Cobblers and crisps are a good option, but this summer we’ve probably eaten more than our share. I’m ready for something different. Why not a great summer fruit cocktail?
The following cocktail was inspired by one the US’s greatest, food-loving Olympians, Michael Phelps.
The Golden Phelps
Six leaves of purple basil
1 ripe plum, seeds removed and quartered
1 orange, juiced (reserve half of juice for the next cocktail!)
Splash of simple syrup
2 pieces of candied ginger, sliced
1 ounce dark rum
1 ounce light rum
Add the basil leaves in a cocktail shaker and muddle for 2 seconds to release the herb’s oils. Add the plum and one sliced piece of candied ginger. Continue to muddle. Fill shaker with ice. Add juice of the orange, simple syrup and rums. Shake. Taste for balance. Add more simple syrup or orange juice if needed.
Strain and pour over ice, leaving room at the top for adding pieces of muddled fruit and basil to glass. Garnish with candied ginger and basil.
Dive in and enjoy!