You know that song “Kick out the Jams” by Rage Against the Machine? Countless times I turned that song on in my car with the volume all the way up, windows down, pretending to play drums on the steering wheel (at stop lights, of course). It was the anthem of teenage angst for many in the 90s. That poor CD was so scratched by the time I finally had to throw it away because it skipped far too often.
I can’t help but think of it and sometimes play it while making jam.
I have been obsessing about two things lately: bourbon and jams. The former from that bourbon and whiskey tasting a few weekends ago and the latter from a summer where I simply did not scan as much as I wanted to. Why do I say that? Because for the Christmas holiday I try to give my immediate family jars of dill cucumber relish, jalapeno relish, and sweet jams, but a quick look in the basement showed I was lacking in the canning department this summer.
Somehow, somewhere, jars of my spiced peach jam have escaped me. I remember one was used to bake a ham with a spiced peach jam and bourbon glaze, and at least two were downed for peanut butter sandwiches, but the rest? I do not know.
All of these uses of this jam had me wondering if I could do something other than eating it. Like, say, drink it. Could I mix bourbon with peach jam?
If you were using jam, simply warm it up on the stove to thin it out before adding to your bourbon.
What’s unique about this cocktail is the thickness. Instead of sieving out the peaches, I left them in. So as you sip, you may take in a few chunks of peaches to sweeten the experience. If that doesn’t sound interesting to you, just pour the mix through a fine mesh sieve and you’ll be left with a spiced peach syrup.
Side note, I don’t know if you can tell but I’ve been playing around with a new lens for my Canon T5i. A coworker has let me borrow her 50mm f/1.8 lens and it is spectacular. All of my photos were taken with the kit lens, an 18-55mm that is incredibly better than a camera phone but lacks the versatility and control that I need. Taking photos of food is way more complicated than I ever thought it would be, but it forces me to put my art history degree to good use. A great camera can not replace the understanding of composition, negative space, colors and texture.
This 50mm f/1.8 lens allows me to create stronger depth of field. This is when you see one part of the photo in focus but the rest is not. It lets the viewer know what you want them to see, forcing their eye to notice what is in focus and make them think the rest is just in the background. F/1.8 is the aperture setting and is much lower than the f/3.5 that my kit lens would reach. The lower aperture had a side effect I was not anticipating – better light control. Lowering the aperture allows more light to come into the photo, something I have struggled with for quite some time.
I was literally OOOHING and AAAHING as I was snapping away the other day. And for about $100-125, I know this lens is one I will be purchasing soon.
SPICED PEACH JAM BOURBON COCKTAILS
MAKES 2 COCKTAILS
- 6 peach slices
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider (or water)
- 3 ounces bourbon (I used Rahul E. Fitzgerald Larceny)
- Ice cubes
In a small saucepan, stir all of the ingredients together and set over medium heat. Stir occasionally and when the peaches have softened and the sugar dissolved, blend using an immersion blender or a food processor.
Pour the peach jam and whiskey into the cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously to combine. Pour over ice or serve warm. Garnish with a cinnamon stick to make it look fancy – pinkies up!