Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Vodka Cocktails

Cheeky Peach

hand holds the Cheeky Peach cocktail, in a rocks glass with crushed ice and garnished with mint leaves
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Summer brings many reasons to celebrate, from warm weather and swimming pools to seasonal produce like fresh peaches. Depending on where you live, these juicy treats are at their peak from May to September, but with the right drink in your hand, you can take advantage of their magic year-round.

The Cheeky Peach is a cocktail from bartender Kristen Struckmeyer. All you need is vodka, peach schnapps, pineapple juice and a little mint, and you can party like it’s the middle of July. Even in the dead of winter.

Vodka leads the way in this drink, so choose a bottle that you like—nothing too fancy, but nothing pulled from the bottom shelf. In Europe, schnaps (spelled with one “p”) typically refers to unaged fruit brandies that have been fermented and distilled from fresh fruit juices. In the United States, however, schnapps is a sweetened liqueur usually made from neutral grain spirits and then flavored with fruit, mint or other ingredients. The peach schnapps used in popular ’80s-era drinks like the Fuzzy Navel and Sex on the Beach falls under the latter category.

Peach schnapps needn’t be relegated to such questionable concoctions. It’s a versatile cocktail ingredient that, when used deftly, can balance flavors and enhance tastes. That’s what you see with the Cheeky Peach. Vodka lays down a sturdy base, while the schnapps is used sparingly—only a half ounce is required to make itself known. The pineapple juice lends additional fruit notes and steers this drink in a tropical direction, while the bright-red Peychaud’s bitters—best known for their use in the classic Sazerac—provide structure, color and flavors of gentian and anise. A small measure of simple syrup ups the sweetness, while club soda imbues the whole package with a vein of effervescence.

Mint appears twice in this drink. Five leaves are thrown directly into the shaker, and then a mint sprig is applied as garnish to the finished cocktail. The end result is fun, refreshing and prone to refill requests.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka

  • 1/2 ounce peach schnapps

  • 1 ounce pineapple juice

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

  • 5 mint leaves

  • Club soda, chilled, to top

  • Garnish: mint sprig

Steps

  1. Add the vodka, peach schnapps, pineapple juice, simple syrup, Peychaud’s bitters and mint leaves to a shaker with cubed ice, and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Double-strain into a double rocks glass over crushed ice.

  3. Top with the club soda.

  4. Garnish with a mint sprig.