In Southern California, the farmers' markets are bursting with stone fruit. But after you've made a few peach cobblers, thrown some nectarines on the grill, and eaten plum after ripe, juicy plum, what's left? Stone fruit cocktails.
Santa Monica's Basement Tavern at the Victorian has devoted this summer season to all things stone fruit, culled primarily from the market held Sundays in the bar's parking lot. Though there's a general focus on whiskey-based cocktails at the prohibition-style speakeasy, Brad Twigg, the tavern's general manager and mixologist and his head bartender T.J. Williams, say that because of their location in the heart of sunny Santa Monica, they try to bring a mix of spirits into their aesthetic, recognizing that folks in flip flops sometimes want something a little lighter.
"It's speakeasy meets the beach," says Williams. "Kind of like Boardwalk Empire," agrees Twigg.
Because under-ripened stone fruit can lack intensity of flavor, these cocktails require the freshest, most fragrant fruit possible and some heavy duty muddling. The result is refreshing, tasty, and ripe for sipping all summer long.