Juleps may be the house cocktail for the Greenville, North Carolina, hotspot Julep (the Southern bistro has an entire section of their menu dedicated to variations of their eponymous drink), but a bumper crop of peaches this year led bar manager Ross White to consider spins on other classics. “It was the day after all of the fresh peaches came in, and we had so much peach syrup to play with,” White says.
His favorite creation: a peach-tinged dark and stormy using rum from Muddy River Distillery just outside of Charlotte. “It’s a drink most people know and love, and this version brings out the fresh, seasonal ingredients,” White says. “Plus, in the South, everyone loves a good peach.” Taking the time to make the peach syrup will yield the best flavor, though White says muddling half a peach with simple syrup will suffice in a pinch. “Just be sure to shake the ingredients hard in the shaker to mix the syrup throughout the whole cocktail, especially if the syrup is thicker,” he says. The spiciness of the ginger beer and brand of rum are up to preference, but the fresh peaches are non-negotiable.