Summer Cocktail Week: How to Make a ‘Stone Cold Fox’

Photos by Ryan Benoit and Chantal Aida Gordon

Is there anything more summer-ific (if that’s a word) than biting into an outrageously juicy peach?

Or finding a plum the color of a backlit amethyst?

Stone fruits are synonymous with long hot days and jacket-optional nights. Lately we’ve been eating nectarines, peaches and plums by the bag-full — which is why we’re excited to kick off Summer Cocktail Week here at the Horticult with a drink we’re calling the Stone Cold Fox.

You pick the stone fruit, we’ll pick the poison. The Stone Cold Fox features a muddled summer drupe (fruit whose seed is enclosed in a “stone”; we recommend peaches, plums, pluots, apricots, nectarines), bourbon, thyme, cane sugar, bitters and club soda.

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You know it’s midsummer when you can get all six of these beauties perfectly ripe at the store or farmers market. From left to right, white nectarine, plum, white peach, apricot, yellow peach and dappled pluot. (Peaches in particular go famously well with bourbon.)

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Funny, the term ‘stone fruit’ doesn’t do justice to the juicy goodness of these crops.

This drink, an obvious nod to the Old Fashioned, engages all the senses.

The taste is velvety, fruity but grown up. “Where the herb garden meets the orchard” is what it smells like. The sliced fruit garnish appears electric — like a summer sunset itself — next to the sprig of thyme. And then there’s that moment when you loudly jingle the ice in your glass like, MOAR, PLS.

Here’s the recipe.

The Stone Cold Fox

Serves one.

Ingredients:

2 oz bourbon whiskey

1/2 stone fruit (we recommend peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots or pluots that are ripe or slightly overripe)

4 dashes Angostura bitters

1 teaspoon cane sugar

3 fresh thyme sprigs

A splash of club soda

Method:

In a cocktail shaker, muddle fruit, thyme, bitters and sugar until liquefied. Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Double strain into whiskey glass over ice. Top with a soda water and stir. Garnish with thyme sprig and stone fruit wedge.

Here’s to you, good-looking.

Stay tuned for Part Two in our Summer Cocktail Week series!

—TH

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We harvested our thyme sprigs from our ammo-can herb wall.

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Muddle stone fruit, thyme, bitter and sugar until liquefied.

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Bring on the booze.

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Double strain — or single strain if you like it dirty.

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Splash in some club soda, stir and add garnish.

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Behold, the Stone Cold (Peach) Fox.