As liqueurs go, peach schnapps doesn't have the best reputation. It smells like peach candies, simultaneously crazy-sweet and way harsher than such a low-proof drink has any right to be—it's hardly a mixologist's product of choice.
But many of us drank our fair share of schnapps back in the day, and there's no reason you can't take those questionably named drinks of yore like Sex on the Beach, Fuzzy Navels and Woo Woos and make them a little better. Here we journey down the peach schnapps road and rehabilitate these drinks of the past. You might not find them at a cocktail bar soon, but that doesn't mean they won't kill it at your next party.
Sex on the Beach (photo at top)
How peach, cranberry and vodka relate to sex or beaches is beyond us, but hey, let's take this fruit bomb of a drink and dress it up a little. Along with cranberry and orange, we're using a different, high-quality liqueur—crème de cassis—to contribute a more sophisticated fruity element. Can't deny that this drink is a looker.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 3/4 ounce of peach schnapps, 1/2 ounce of freshly squeezed orange juice, 1/2 ounce of cranberry juice and a dash of orange bitters. Shake that all up and strain into a tall glass with fresh ice. Top with about 1 1/2 ounces of club soda, then float a 1/4 ounce of cassis on top. Garnish with an orange and a maraschino cherry.
Some Fuzzy Navel recipes are just orange juice and peach liqueur, which sounds like a glass of nausea-inducing syrup to us. So we're adding vodka and using sour oranges—a citrus that looks like something between an orange and a lime. (If you can't find them, substitute a lemon; we're really looking for acidity here.)
Instructions: Take half a sour orange (or lemon) and cut it into 4 pieces. In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle those quarters, then add 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 3/4 ounce of peach schnapps, 1/2 ounce of orange juice and a dash of orange bitters. Shake that all up with just 4 ice cubes. Dump the skins, ice and all, into a rocks glass.
Who can keep a straight face when they're drinking something called a Woo Woo? In our version, we're mixing this drink up without ice—you know, so it's a classy Woo Woo. We’re also adding lemon juice to bump up the acidity. And rather than cranberry juice cocktail, we're using super-tart 100 percent cranberry juice (the kind that's actually too sour to drink straight) to counteract all the sweetness.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 3/4 ounce of peach schnapps, 3/4 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3/4 ounce of 100 percent cranberry juice and a 1/4 ounce of simple syrup. Add a dash of orange bitters. Shake that all up and strain into a coupe. Garnish with a few cranberries.