By Gabby Richman / Photo by Debby Wolvos
When it was time to put together a summer cocktail menu for Pomelo at the Orchard, Lead Bartender TJ Natole immediately thought of the first cocktail he made for the restaurant, Long Walks on the Peach ($9).
His unique recipe is inspired by one of his favorite drinks, a whiskey sour.
“I’ve done a lot of different summer versions [of a whiskey sour], but was craving something with peach and honey and didn’t want the drink to just be another fruity whiskey sour,” he explains.
So, Natole switched things up by adding Johnnie Walker Black Label and Aperol to the libation.
“The scotch added the depth and complexity to it, while the Aperol helps temper the sweetness and highlight the smokiness of the scotch without dominating the rest of the ingredients,” Natole says.
The result is a beautiful layering of summertime flavors. But, why scotch?
“Scotch is a spirit that gets neglected in cocktail programs sometimes, and I wanted a little bit of challenge to play with the traditionally smoky characteristics of the Johnnie Walker Black. From there, it was just feeling what summer flavors I was in the mood for that day,” he says.
The flavoring begins with peachy notes, thanks to R&W Orchard Peach liqueur, and gives off honey and citrus undertones from the lemon juice and honey syrup. It finishes with a lingering smoke and acidity thanks to the scotch and Aperol.
And though the flavors are complex, the presentation is simple. It’s served in a highball glass on the rocks with a lemon twist.
Natole suggests pairing the cocktail with their wings. Pro tip: he gets a half-and-half order of the Louisiana hot sauce and barbeque sauce wings.
Pomelo at the Orchard, 7100 N. 12th St., Phoenix; 602.633.2600; www.pomelophx.com.