Peach Jameson from this year's peaches
About 4 years ago a friend showed up at my house with a basket containing a bottle of Jameson, 3 bananas and a recipe cut from the Wall Street Journal. She knew I couldn't resist trying out the simple recipe for Banana Jameson...especially if I had all the ingredients in front of me.
And I did. It soon became something I make a few times a year. We enjoy having a glass at the end of dinner, sometimes instead of dessert. As the article says, at the time many people would enjoy a glass of banana infused Jameson on the rocks at Marc Forgone for happy hour.
But as the article also points out...their first infusion with Jameson was with peaches. Unfortunately, they don't give any idea how they make theirs...so I had to improvise.
I started out by going to pick peaches, up in the hills above Los Angeles. We went to M&M Peach Ranch on their opening weekend and came home with about 50 ppounds of fresh-from-the-tree, organic peaches. My little helper picked almost half of those peaches himself! Great place to go, even if it is a bit out of the way. If you happen to make the trek (they are still open some weekends this year!), consider trying out The Rock Inn for lunch, and a little area history.
Once home I started by peeling 10 peaches. I used the boil method (put an X at the bottom of the peach, dump them in boiling water for about 30 seconds then dunk them in an ice bath). I was trying to avoid getting any of the little peach fuzz hair in the liquid...though, if you're not one to care much about clarity of your Jameson....this is probably a step that could be avoided.
I then cut the peaches in half and added them to a jar that would hold both them and the Jameson with a tight seal. I like the Fido jars and in this case used a full gallon jar (because I was using 2 - 750 ml bottles of Jameson).
Here's the easiest part of this recipe. I poured the contents of the two 750 ml bottles of Jameson over the top of the peaches, sealed the lid on the jar and placed the bottle in a closet for 5 days.
By the time I removed the jar from the closet, the liquid was a gorgeous "peach" color.
From here all that's left was to ladle the liquid back into the empty Jameson bottles and mark those with a P to differentiate them from the Banana Jameson already in the cupboard.
Now you'll have a bunch of Jameson flavored peaches...and what do you do with those? I froze mine and plan to use them in various baked goods throughout the holiday season. I'm considering bread pudding with Jameson peaches, Jameson peach crumble, Jameson peach filling within a 3-layer cake...you get the idea. And you'll see a recipe popping up here within a few short weeks I'm sure.
AND of course....once you're at this stage....taste the final product. I invited a few people over for the unveiling (because more tastebuds are better than less) and we each sipped a little before dinner.
Our final take away was -
- 3 people thought the peach flavor wasn't pronounced enough (in all fairness, none were whiskey aficionados)
- 1 liked this almost more than the Banana Jameson
- Everyone loved the peach on the nose, just a slight wiff
- We all agreed it would probably be a great thing to add to a mixed drink...which is where our dear friend Roman comes in...over there in the Cocktails section. Keep your eyes out, he has his sample and is getting ready to concoct something wonderful I'm sure.
My personal take away was that I would have preferred a more pronounced peach flavor in the final product. I suspect adding a few more peaches (mine were on the small side so maybe 15 peaches would have been better) and leaving the liquid to soak for another 2-4 days would have made this mix more my ideal.
To summarize -
2 - 750 ml bottles of Jameson
1 gallon, tight sealing, jar
Peel peaches, Place peeled peaches in the jar. Cover in Jameson and seal the jar tightly. Place empty Jameson bottles in a safe place for future use. Place jar and contents in an out-of-the-way place for 5-10 days (a closet is ideal). After 5 days, try taking a sample of the liquid to see if the flavor is what you would like it to be. After the jar has seeped to your preferred flavor, remove liquid and pour back into Jameson bottles. Label Jameson bottles to differentiate from any other bottles in your liquor cabinet. Reserve peaches for another purpose (may I suggest something like this - Pound Cake - add a handful of chopped Jameson peaches to the batter before pouring into the pan).
Sip and enjoy!