Proof and Estadio bar manager Adam Bernbach was delighted when I presented him with just-past-ripe market peaches. He says they’re perfect for making the peach soda currently on Estadio’s menu. “When I was little, my mother told me I had a peaches-and-cream complexion,” Bernbach says. “Now I don’t feel so bad about that.”
What to buy: The drink will display the color of your fruit, but any very ripe, in-season market peaches will do. I used Spring Snow from Reid’s Orchard ($2.99 per pound) at the Bloomingdale, Mount Pleasant, and 14th and U streets NW markets for a vivid, light-pink sipper.
How to make: Slice the peaches and coat very generously with sugar (about a cup for two peaches). Let them stand at room temperature for at least two hours or overnight, until they release their juices. It’s a technique Bernbach borrowed from Estadio’s pastry chef. Place the peach-sugar in a blender and add about a cup of water. Mix until smooth, then strain.
How to serve: Combine one and a half ounces of the peach syrup and one-third ounce of lemon juice over ice in a highball glass. Fill it to the top with sparkling—not soda—water. Add more peach syrup to taste. Bernbach clapped a piece of sage (to release its aroma) and added it as a garnish. The soda is excellent virgin, but Bernbach recommends a shot of bourbon or rye if you’re serving it as a cocktail.
Photo by Phoebe Connelly