And if you immediately thought “Peace Frog” by the Doors, you get a gold star! (And you just gave a likely indication of your age..;-). In any event, our cocktail karma continues to be good. This week’s cocktail is one of our own creations, or I should say, a slight adaptation of an existing cocktail. But I guess that is how the “creative process” works.
The Peachfrog cocktail is a simple riff on a cocktail called the Leapfrog from Jim Meehan’s PDT Cocktail Book. We have been working through the PDT book, trying cocktails that sound good, and the Leapfrog sounded great. Interestingly, the Leapfrog is an adaptation of an early 20th century cocktail called the Leaping Frog that featured lime juice and apricot brandy. And so it goes, cocktails are a lot like jazz, everything is a new riff on something else.
As for the Leapfrog, it is a mixture of gin, apricot liqueur (Meehan suggests Rothman and Winter Orchard Apricot), lemon juice, mint and orange bitters. All good stuff, but as it happens, we did not have all of that stuff. Well, necessity is the mother of invention, and we really wanted to try this, or something like it. Thus a new drink is born.
What we did have was Rothman and Winter Orchard Peach liqueur, so we figured “peach is a sweet stone fruit, that’s close enough to apricot”, and we gave it a try. And it turned out the Peachfrog is a fine drink. Openly sweet, but balanced by the lemon, mint and bitters, the cocktail is very good. The Peachfrog would be an excellent summer cocktail. We tested the Peachfrog on friends at taco night (with the Pork Belly Ssam) and it was well-received enough to warrant a second round. A success, but not a surprising one, as we didn’t really change the recipe all that much- and it helps to start from a good foundation.
We also liked the Peachfrog enough to experiment with different gins and other preparations. As for the gin, any good dry gin will do. We tried the Peachfrog with Tanqueray, Hendricks and the no. 209- all with good results. Even using a relatively small amount, the Peach liqueur will be the lead element in the drink. We also tried a version of the cocktail topped by Champagne (think Bellini meets French 75), it was pretty good but still needs some tuning. Look for that cocktail as we get closer to summer, along with a version that uses fresh peaches.
As for the peach liqueur, we used our Rothman and Winter, but if you have other peach liqueur it will be worth a try, you may just need to adjust the amount to balance the drink. Otherwise, we think the Peachfrog (or Leapfrog, if you prefer that version) is a good drink to have in your quiver, particularly for lazy summer evenings. If you do not have peach (or apricot) liqueur, this cocktail may be an excuse to get some.
The Peachfrog Cocktail:
Notes Before You Start:
- Most recipes with muddled mint will have you double strain the cocktail to remove any small bits of mint. At home, we like the small flecks of mint and keep them, but it is your choice. If you want to remove the mint, just pour the drink through a fine mesh strainer before serving.
- 2 oz. Dry gin
- ¾ oz. Lemon juice
- ½ oz. Peach liqueur (we use Rothman and Winter Orchard Peach)
- ¼ oz. Simple syrup
- 2 Dashes of orange bitters
- 6 Mint leaves
- Muddle the mint and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker or large glass.
- Add the remaining ingredients, add ice and shake vigorously.
- Fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass, flute or coupe. Serve.