Apricot and Herb
* 3 to 4 slices fresh apricot, plus 1 slice for garnish
* 3 to 4 fresh basil leaves, plus 1 for garnish
* Splash of simple syrup
* 1 1/2 ounces brandy
* 1/2 ounce Cointreau
* 2 dashes peach bitters
* 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
In a mixing glass, muddle the apricot slices with the basil and simple syrup to make a pulp. Top with ice, add the brandy, Cointreau, bitters, and lemon juice, and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an apricot slice and a basil leaf.
This concoction is my own version of Peaches and Herb, which appears in The Art of the Bar. I bought my copy of this book at the end of summer last year, just as peaches were going out of season. I’ve been obsessed with trying it, but out-of-season peaches are a poor substitute for something like this. While early-season peaches are now starting to appear at our farmers’ market, it’s still a bit too early to get excited about them, so we picked up some apricots instead, and paired them with basil for this drink. (It’s too bad Apricot and Herb doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely as Peaches and Herb.)
The result was fresh and very tasty. Apricots are not as sweet as peaches, so you’ll want to adjust the amount of simple syrup to taste. It’s optional in the peach version, but you’ll want to keep it in for this variant. You may also want to filter it through a tea strainer after shaking it, as you’ll get a lot of pulp and bits of leaf in your drink. I liked it, personally, and so didn’t bother. But be careful if you’re using a Hawthorne strainer, the pulp can be tricky to get out of the coils.