Desert Gold early peaches

Desert Gold is an early ripening peach cultivar that grows well in the southwest and in western gardens





Summer remains weeks away but already the Northern California farmers’ markets are in full swing, selling apricots, cherries, strawberries, and early-ripening peaches. The early peaches I grow on the farmette are Desert Gold.



Peaches taste great eaten fresh, prepared in cobblers, and added to homemade ice cream. But you can also use fresh peaches to make a lovely, slow-sipping brandy-and-wine drink.



Eau de vie is French for “water of life.” Basically, it is a brandy made of fruit with no added sweetener and not aged. It is best consumed chilled and sipped after a meal as a dessert or digestive drink.



Making your own eau de vie is fairly straightforward and you’ll find many easy recipes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with fruit flavors. Basically, just add prepared fruit to pure grain alcohol and then distill it. Or, mash fresh fruit, ferment, and distill it. Here’s an easy recipe for a summer drink that combines purchased eau de vie with white wine and peaches.







6 ripe peaches


4 cups dry white wine


1 cup superfine sugar


1/4 cup Eau de Vie (brandy made of fruits)





Skin the peaches and slice each peach in half.


Pour the wine into a stainless steel pan.


Gently simmer the fruit in the white wine until tender (about 15 minutes).


Cover the fruit and let stand overnight to impart its full flavor to the wine.


Remove the peaches from the wine.


Strain the wine through a fine sieve or paper filter.


Add the eau de vie to the peach-flavored wine.


Add the sugar and stir well to dissolve.


Pour the blended beverage into sterilized dry bottles and cap or cork.


Keep refrigerated. Use within two weeks.




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