Like most people, I have fond memories from college where I made pina coladas at the beach — and at this time of year, I always crave it. Even though my tastes have changed and I now prefer a less sweet, lighter cocktail, the craving continues.
This college pina colada has been on my mind for a few weeks now. So it wasn’t such a big surprise that the peaches at the Farmer’s Market made me think of first turning them into a cocktail before eating them over a sink or making a peach pie.
An ice cold peach cocktail immediately came to mind. I considered a daquiri or a peach pina colada, but ultimately tossed those ideas in favor of a boozy smoothie bursting with tropical fruit flavor.
First of all, who doesn’t love a smoothie? The key to a great smoothie is to make sure the fruit is frozen so you don’t need to add ice. The ice keeps things frosty, but ultimately it dilutes the flavor. If you want it more frozen, you can add a few cubes, but use them sparingly.
This smoothie is made with pressed coconut water instead of dairy. Pressed coconut water is simply coconut water plus some pressed coconut flesh/mashed to give the juice a more coconut flavor. I like to use it because pressed coconut water adds a bit more substance than clear coconut water. If you can’t find pressed coconut water, you can use your favorite coconut water, but I love the richer pressed coconut water and drink it regularly.
Instead of sweetening the smoothie with sugar or simple syrup, I like to make this smoothie with mango sorbet that is frozen and already slightly sweet. Good brands also taste like perfect ripe mangoes and although it’s not traditional, the end result is delicious. The beauty of using sorbets is that if you don’t like mango, you can use your favorite fruit sorbet. A raspberry sorbet would be perfect with the peaches and it would taste like a “Peach Melba”.
Rum is the perfect alcohol to spice up the smoothie and the perfect rum is Plantation Stiggins Fancy Pineapple Rum. If you’re unfamiliar with rum, it’s literally made from fresh pineapple, not pineapple extract. This unusual and special rum is a collaboration between the brand’s founder, Alexandre Gabriel, and author and beverage historian, David Wondrich.
The rum is “a tribute to the character created by Charles Dickens in the Pickwick Papers, Reverend Stiggins, whose favorite drink was ‘pineapple rum,'” according to the brand’s website.
And, it’s not just the name of the pineapple, the two-step process uses the whole fruit; “the barking [rind] Victoria pineapples are infused in Plantation 3 Stars rum, which is then further distilled. Separately, the pineapple fruit is infused in Plantation Original Dark Rum. Both [the] the distillate and fruit infusion are finally blended, creating a rich and delicious pineapple bouquet…”
One sip of rich pineapple infused rum and you’ll never use another rum for any of your fruity tropical concoctions again. And, incidentally, it’s a great addition to a pineapple upside-down cake.
If you want, you can garnish your glass with a seasoned salt such as OSMO Mango-Chili cocktail salt. It’s a blend of sugar, salt, mango, lime and cayenne and adds a flavorful and sophisticated balance to the sweet smoothie. In fact, if you’re enjoying the cocktail with close friends, do yourself a favor and lick the coarse salt from the glass, then take a sip. The fruity cayenne pepper salt added to the velvety sweet rum drink is the perfect balance – everything you’re looking for in a special tropical drink.
The recipe below is for a large smoothie-sized drink, but it’s easy to oversize the recipe. For example, a pint of mango sorbet and 4 large peaches will make 4 glasses. And, if you live in a place where you can’t find summer peaches, this drink can also be made with frozen peaches or other fruits.
Watered smoothie: peach and mango edition
If you’re making a pitcher of fruit smoothies for a crowd and not everyone is drinking alcohol, float the rum on the smoothie and let everyone decide whether they want it or not.
1 large ripe peach, cleaned, sliced and frozen – about 8 good-sized slices
½ cup mango sorbet
Juice of ½ lime
½ cup pressed coconut water such as VitaCoco
2 ounces Stiggins Fancy Pineapple Plantation Rum
OSMO Mango-Chili Cocktail Salt
If you are frosting your glass, wet the rim of the glass with the lime you squeezed and dip the rim of the glass in the Mango Chili Rim Salt. Put aside.
Place frozen fruit, sorbet, lime juice, coconut water in blender or smoothie maker. Blend until smooth and add the rum. Stir and serve immediately in a rimmed or rimless glass.