1 Stone Fruit, 3 Cocktails: Nectarines

·Food Features Editor

It’s stone fruit season! Here’s how to do right by its wonderfulness in cocktail form. Each week this month, we’ll show you how one fruit can mingle happily with three distinct spirits. We’ve sipped on a few boozy peaches and plums. Today: the toothsome, tart nectarine.


All photographs: Christopher Almeida

Of all the stone fruits, the nectarine gets the least respect. It’s not as adorable as the apricot, nor as voluptuous as a cherry, nor as sweet as a peach.

Poor nectarines.

But to Jay Carr, chief drink maker and co-owner of renowned Providence, Rhode Island bar The Eddy, the nectarine’s nebulous qualities are precisely what make her such a charmer. Carr made three nectarine cocktails even when presented with the choice of cherries because “they’re kind of not as challenging.”

Carr thinks a nectarine’s flavor is closer to an apple than that of a peach, loves its floral quality and pronounced body, and spun it together with gin, genever (a precursor to gin), and Cognac to create three sweet homages to the end of summer.

Be forewarned: This gent has a fondness for puns in cocktail names.


Romancing the Stone
by Jay Carr
Makes one cocktail

It’s a Sex on the Beach variation. This is actually really light and refreshing; big, fruity, and floral-smelling. Hum botanical spirit is really nice because of its ginger, cardamom, and kaffir lime.

1.5 oz. gin
.75 oz. Nectarine Syrup (see below)
.75 oz. fresh lime juice
.25 oz. apricot liqueur
.5 oz. Hum botanical spirit
Cherry, to garnish

Combine first four ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into an iced rocks glass. Slowly pour in Hum and garnish with cherry.

Nectarine Syrup
Makes one quart

6 nectarines, quartered
1 cinnamon stick
2.5 cups sugar

Add all ingredients to a medium-sized pot with 4 cups water and bring to a simmer. Cook for an hour over medium-low heat, stirring periodically, until nectarines are completely broken down, about 30 minutes, depending on their ripeness. The liquid should be just thick enough to coat a spoon. Strain and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.


Quaker & Shaker
by Jay Carr
Makes one cocktail

Bols Genever has a wheaty backbone; it’s almost between a sake and a white whiskey, with grainy wheat flavors. Yogurt liqueur is exactly what it sounds like. For this one, I wanted to make a peaches and cream cocktail: A lot of my drinks try to recreate flavors that are fun and that you had when you were a kid.

1.5 oz. Bols Genever
.5 oz. Bols yogurt liqueur
.75 oz. Nectarine Syrup (recipe above)
.25 oz. Cinnamon Syrup (see below)
1 oz.  lemon juice
Fresh cinnamon, to garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake, strain, and serve up in a martini or coupe glass. Garnish with fresh grated cinnamon.

Cinnamon Syrup
Makes two quarts

6 cinnamon sticks
3 cups sugar

Add all ingredients to a medium-sized pot with 2 cups water. Cook for 30 minutes over low-medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar and ensure syrup does not burn.

Remove from heat and set aside. Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.


Stone’s Throw 
by Jay Carr
Makes 1 cocktail

Cognac is my favorite, and this drink has that caramelly, banana-y going on. This is sort of my twist on the Singapore sling. Benedictine has the whole honey thing going on, cherry heering is another stone fruit, and ginger and nectarines go so well together.

1/3 ripe nectarine, diced
.5 oz. Benedictine
.5 oz. cherry heering
.75 oz. Cognac
.75 oz. light rum
.5 oz.  grapefruit juice
.5 oz. fresh lime juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters 
2 oz. ginger beer

In a shaker, muddle nectarine with Benedictine and cherry herring. Add remaining ingredients and fill shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer.