I am always disappointed with how peaches here in Virginia taste during the summer. They smell great, taste good, but never taste quite as intensely "peach" as I think they should. I know this is because peaches have been ruined forever for me.
In May of 2009, Jordan and I (having only dated for about 8 months at this time) decided it would be a great idea to pack up my little Ford Focus and drive 17 hours to Jupiter, Florida for the week.
We have a great family friend that lives down there, and she had been begging for me to visit. We had such a great time! We went to an Art and Music festival, visited a Wildlife Reserve, drank beers as big as our heads, and I finally got to visit South of the Border. The thing that I think about most often from our trip is something that happened in a parking lot in Georgia. I realize that sounds super sketchy, but I promise it's relevant.
As you drive along the highway, you see signs advertising boiled peanuts, watermelon, peaches, and tomatoes. The signs tell you to get off at the next exit for the "BEST local produce," and warn you to not pass the opportunity by. We needed to get gas one more time before making the final push through Florida, and I was determined to get some Georgia peaches (because that is just what one does when on vacation and in Georgia.)
After filling up the car's gas tank, Jordan and I walked over and bought five pounds of peaches (I guess there was a minimum purchase. Or we're crazy) and sat down on the curb for a snack before hitting the road again. What followed was the BEST PEACH EXPERIENCE I have EVER had. Even though we didn't have the peaches in the middle of the summer (when I imagine they're at their best) I have truly never had another peach that compares. After devouring a two or three peaches each, we washed the juice off of our arms, climbed back into the car, and zipped out of Georgia.
Back to the here and now. To ease the pain of not having Georgia peaches as my disposal ALL SUMMER LONG, I decided Virginia peaches + whiskey was an acceptable combination. While the title of this post calls this a sorbet, I think it is somewhere in the middle of a sorbet and a granita. Either way, it's easy, delicious, and boozy. I think it would also be delicious with champagne poured over it- because clearly booze on top of booze is how my brain works. Bonus points for this recipe: it has NO refined sugar, is dairy free, AND I was able to use peaches and honey that we both locally grown/harvested AND organic! No ice cream maker? No problem. I didn't even use mine.
2 1/2 lbs of pitted peaches 1/3 cup water, or less 1 lemon, juiced 1/4 cup of honey 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1/8 tsp kosher salt 3 tablespoons of whiskey
Wash, pit, and roughly slice your peaches. You can peel them if you'd like, but I really love the texture and color the skin added to this treat. Put peaches into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Drizzle in water, up to 1/3 of a cup, as needed to achieve a smooth, uniform consistency.
Heat lemon juice on low heat in a sauce pan. Once warm, stir in honey until completely dissolved (this will keep the honey from solidifying when you add it into the cool peach puree.) Remove from heat, add vanilla and salt, and stir to dissolve salt. Add honey/lemon mixture to peach puree, stir thoroughly, and pour into a freezer-safe container.
Place container in freezer, remove after an hour. Using a fork, break up any icy areas and stir until consistency is uniform. Return pan to freezer, and repeat process for 3-4 more hours. Towards the end of the freezing process, add in whiskey and stir to combine.
Transfer the sorbet to a lidded container for storage in the freezer. Enjoy!