Edible Monterey Bay

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A new way to enjoy summer fruits

Cocktails are our jam! That’s the kind of pun a pair of thirsty homesteaders make, when surveying a pantry full of preserves. How EVER shall we make room for a new season of preserving, when last year’s jams clutter the shelves? All jokes aside, jams and jellies are a marvelous way to bring both fruit flavor and a balanced sweetness to a mixed drink, serving almost as a concentrated syrup. Jellies are clear and bright, while jams often have bits of fruit that can be strained out or left in for delightful, booze-soaked texture.

There’s not much we like better than to mix up a batch of jammy cocktails and carry them out to the garden to sip with friends on a long summer evening. On the particular night that spawned this pair of pantry libations, we had no recipe in mind. Just a few jars of jam and jelly, a bottle of bitters, assorted booze and citrus, and some fizzy water. We mixed and stirred, and tasted and added another splash of lime. Just so. Here, taste mine. Oooh, I like that…

These two cocktails are kin, or dear friends like us. They go together well, but they’re not the same. One’s sweet and resolute; the other is dark and tart. One’s blonde, the other brunette. One is cousin to a mint julep, and the other is a kind of refreshing, session spritz. Whatever preserved treasures your own pantry holds, we hope that these two cocktails inspire you to ditch the toast and start spooning jam into a cocktail glass! Cheers to summer and to friends, and to another year of preserving and sharing the good times.

Bourbon Peach Julep

Blackberry Ginger Spritz

About the author

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Jessica Tunis lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains and spends her time tending gardens, telling stories, and cultivating adventure and good food in wild places.

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Amber Turpin is a freelance food and travel writer based in the Santa Cruz Mountains.