The Smash cocktail: open to interpretation and artistically whimsy, the drink usually features a base spirit, mint or fresh herb, a dash of soda, sweetener and a seasonal fruit of choice. Often compared to a julep — some would say it is a julep — the noted difference is the use of fresh fruits that are always used in their peak season. Thankfully, we are still in the thick of it for Northwest fruits.
Tasteful, fashion-forward and sophisticated, Glass Distillery was launched in 2012 and connects the art and entrepreneurial spirit of the Pacific Northwest region to vodka distilling. Unlike other vodkas that are made with grains and potatoes, Glass is made with wine grapes, giving it subtle complexity and nuance. Its Nectar is an award-winning vodka infused with hand-gathered honey, with a unique honey harvest represented in each batch. Warm and welcoming, it is delicately sweetened with a lightly floral nose and is naturally filtered using diatomaceous earth instead of charcoal.
Together in cocktail, the light yet creamy vodka fuses with the ripe flavors of late summer and a custom-made tea syrup. Be sure to make the Sun Tea Syrup at least a day ahead when weather permits and for a touch of sultry smokiness, try adding a tiny float of scotch or mezcal.
As you head out for your long, last-surge-of-summer weekend, recall that it is prime time for peaches and make the most of it with this easy-to-batch sipper.
Honey Peach Smash
Makes 1 cocktail
2 slices very ripe peach
2 ounces Glass Distillery Glass Nectar Vodka
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
¾ ounce Sun Tea Syrup (recipe follows)
Garnish: rosemary sprig
Place the peach wedges in a mixing glass and press with a cocktail muddler or the end of a wooden spoon to release the juices. Measure in the vodka, syrup and lemon. Add ice, cap and shake, then strain into an old fashioned glass mounded with shaved ice. Garnish with rosemary.
Sun Tea Syrup
Makes about 12 ounces, or enough for 16 drinks
1 English breakfast tea bag
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Place the tea bag, water and sugar in a quart Mason jar and screw on the lid. Shake well and allow to sit in the sun for 6 to 8 hours then remove the tea bag and store refrigerated for up to 7 days.