A very special DnU: The Peach Melba

A very special DnU: The Peach Melba

A very special episodeI am often asked if my nickname, Melba, comes from the very famous dessert, the Peach Melba. The dessert was invented around 1892 by the French chef, Auguste Escoffier, to honour the Australian soprano, Dame Nellie Melba. As lovely as that sounds though, the real reason is quite mundane. Melba is part of my first and last names. But the connection is there. Wandering around the internet one day, I wondered if there was a Peach Melba cocktail. I found a few recipes, but none were to my satisfaction, forcing me to send out a tweet:

Anybody know how to make a Peach Melba cocktail? Unsatisfied with my google search.

Fervere was the first to answer and was prepared to fill this egregious hole. So last week, I arrived at Casa du Ferment to drink away the days ills with Fervere’s own recipe for the Peach Melba. When he set it down, I couldn’t wait to try it. Luckily, I had the lovely Mrs. Ferment and her friend Melissa to share a glass with me. It was frothy, pink and lovely. Sure, I have to admit, it was a bit girly, but the taste was perfect. There was just enough sweetness to make it easy to drink, but enough alcohol-bite to stop it from being just a quick gulp. Here’s Fervere’s recipe:

A partially sipped martini glass with a creamy Peach Melba cocktail

We couldn't even get a proper photo before someone sipped it!

Fervere’s Peach Melba

  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 2 oz. peach schnapps
  • 1 oz. raspberry syrup or Chambord
  • 2 oz. cream, half-and-half, or whole milk
  • enough ice to fill a third of a cocktail shaker
Fervere actually made a raspberry syrup, because he’s crazy and cheap and didn’t have a bottle of Chambord in his cabinet, but did have frozen raspberries. Before I got there, he simmered the raspberries for about an hour in a cup of water. Then he squished and strained the juice, combined it with a cup and a half of sugar, and cooked it the liquid until it thickened. The he let it cool. To make the cocktail, he put all the listed ingredients in his shaker and shook it for about 30 seconds before straining it all into a Martini glass.

Never being one to rest on his laurels, Fervere decided to change the recipe around. Instead of vodka, he used an aged rum, and I approved of his choice. It gave the drink that extra warm spice and depth of flavor that the vodka did not have. But it was agreed that the Peach Melba was the recipe set in the first round. So what would we call this new creation? Well, considering that main ingredient was rum, a naval theme came to mind.

A still of George Hamilton as Bunny Wigglesworth from “Zorro: The Gay Blade”

Bunny Wigglesworth from “Zorro: The Gay Blade”

The Bunny Wigglesworth

  • 1 oz. rum
  • 2 oz. peach schnapps
  • 1 oz. raspberry syrup or Chambord
  • 2 oz. cream, half-and-half, or whole milk
  • enough ice to fill a third of a cocktail shaker
Again, combine all ingredients and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass.

But wait! The Peach Melba and the Bunny Wigglesworth were only first of several cocktails made that night. Look for the second installment of A very special DnU very soon. In the words of Bunny, “There is no shame in being poor! Only in dressing poorly!”