I'm kind of annoyed that science has not been able to materialize time-travel technology yet. Though I realize that with this advancement would come numerous, disastrous outcomes, and I am truly thankful that the whole concept is complete and total fiction, there is a small part of me that wishes it could be real for one moment. Because, in that moment there is one thing that I would desperately love to do.
It's nothing so daring as you might imagine. I simply wish to be whisked away to 1920. To meet the Fitzgeralds and to wear as many dazzling flapper dresses as I could manage in a 24-hour period.
Though one can become far more familiar with the thoughts of Scott than those of Zelda, I feel as though I know her through her husband's writing. Fiction though it was, nearly every story he wrote portrayed his wife in some form or another. Cool and feminine, coarse and vulgar, annoyingly innocent yet rebellious - she was present in every female character that appeared.
Now perhaps this is the literature nerd in me, but over the years those characters, frustrating and impossible as they are, have become dear to my heart because they were real. Real women who were all trying to find happiness in whatever lay around the corner. Though their stories are far from happy, they carry a charm that is undeniable.
In my mind, this is the drink that Fitzgerald's ladies might be found sipping on the warm, southern afternoons spent on their terraces, as they waited for the next adoring gentleman to come along.
It's summery in the most elegant of ways - redolent of fresh herbs and sweet peaches. I think even Daisy Buchanan would approve.
This drink, like most drinks, begins with a syrup. A basil syrup, to be precise.
Now maybe you are turning your nose up right now because the idea of herbs in your drink does not really excite you. I get it, but just trust me this time. The basil brings a refreshingly fragrant note to the drink that mellows the sweetness of the peaches and plays perfectly off the lemon and ginger.
Though this may look like a lot of steps, the whole drink comes together rather quickly. The basil syrup can be made a day in advance for extra ease.
Spicy, bubbly ginger ale is the final element in our drink. Ginger and peaches are always a good match.
And here we are. Ready to sit on the porch swing and dawdle the afternoon away.
I wish you all the loveliest of weekends.
Peach and Basil Spritzer
- 1/2 cup basil, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 ripe peaches, halved and skins removed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 8 ounces ginger ale
In a small bowl, combine basil and sugar. Use the tines of a fork to press the basil into the sugar, thus releasing the flavor into the sugar.
Place the basil sugar and water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for about 3-5 minutes, until a light syrup has formed. Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer; refrigerate until cool*.
In the base of your blender combine halved peaches, lemon juice, basil syrup, and ginger ale. Pulse until smooth. Serve immediately over ice and garnish with fresh basil. Enjoy!
* This syrup is best after it has sat for at least 1-2 hours. The basil flavor will be stronger and more developed after it has had some time to rest.