palisade peach, basil + tarragon spritzes | rituals

cocktails, drinks, other spirits, summer

the blog

I don’t get up at a regular time in the mornings, even though I know it’s good for me. My restaurant-dictated schedule is consistently up-and-down, so when faced with either getting up at a predictable hour or sleeping in to get my full eight hours, I’ll take the eight hours, please.

Right now, I’m typing on my laptop, sitting outside in the backyard with Steve, my cats, a bowl of sliced peaches, and my coffee. An entire French press’ worth, in fact. I only have a couple of hours until I drive to work, and I’m soaking in the peace. After tonight, we’ll only have three more Friday nights left {out of nine} in our summer concert series at the restaurant.

I’m dancing inside.

palisade peach + tarragon spritzes | rituals | holly & flora

palisade peach + tarragon spritzes | rituals | holly & floraI always joke that I’ll document an entire Friday night there from beginning to end on Snapchat, but I end up getting too busy. Plus, it’s just too, plain raw. And I would probably get into trouble. I still might do it, though. It would definitely be entertaining, nonetheless! Except for the part, where they find me cowering over in the corner of the wine cellar, rocking back and forth.

These nights are such a strain on everyone – the wait staff, the chefs, the valets, the hosts, even the guests. We’re cranking out 600 entrées in the same kitchen that normally serves 300, and everyone expects the same fine dining experience. I’ve mentioned it before, but we expand the patio, doubling its size, and nearly all of South Denver comes out to dance. It starts out calm, classy, and fun, but around 7:00, all kinds of crazy starts to happen.

palisade peach + tarragon spritzes | rituals | holly & flora

palisade peach + tarragon spritzes | rituals | holly & flora palisade peach + tarragon spritzes | rituals | holly & flora

So, this is why daily rituals are so key for sanity on nights like this. Even at work this afternoon, the very act of unpacking wine boxes, putting up the signage and banners, trying to amp up the staff, and dreaming of my hard-earned shift drink, are all part of a well-executed plan. A ritual, if you will.

I’m finally down to one, last Palisade peach after breakfast this morning. I’ve been putting them in my smoothies, over toast, and in cocktails. This particular drink I made this past week is a little lower in ABV, even with the addition of peach brandy, and is refreshingly effervescent.

If you grow your own basil and tarragon, I have a few tips on harvesting those herbs. Tarragon grows like a beast, with long, tendril-like leaves. You can snip them basically anywhere on their stems, and it will grow back prolifically. Basil, on the other hand, requires a little more intentional pruning to coax the plant into a compact, thick shape. You can see in the photo above, where I snipped the leaves: clip just above a spot, where several leaves are growing. It looks like a “T”. That way, the plant will expand at that point and grow in a less “leggy” fashion.

palisade peach + tarragon spritzes | rituals | holly & flora palisade peach + tarragon spritzes | rituals | holly & flora


palisade peach, basil + tarragon spritzes

  • 1/2 a peach, sliced
  • 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • 4 to 5 basil leaves
  • 1/2 ounce Peach Eau de Vie {I used Cap Rock Colorado Organic}
  • 2 ounces Jardesca California Aperitiva
  • soda to finish {I used LaCroix sparkling}
  • peach slices, tarragon sprigs, and basil leaves, for garnish
  • dash or spritz of absinthe {optional}
  1. In a mixing tin, combine the peach, lime, and simple syrup. Muddle well.
  2. Add the tarragon and basil and gently muddle.
  3. Next, add the eau de vie and the Jardesca, filling the rest of the tin with ice.
  4. Shake well and double-strain into a chilled Collins glass, filled with fresh ice.
  5. Finish with soda and garnish with peach slices and more fresh herbs. Optionally, to add a little more herbaceous dimension, add a few drops or a mist of absinthe to the finished cocktail.
  • This recipe yields one cocktail.
  • If you can’t find peach eau de vie or peach brandy, use regular brandy. If you can’t find Jardesca, you can easily substitute Lillet blanc in this recipe, but I really recommend trying to source this California treat. It is also amazing on the rocks with a splash of soda and a squeeze of lemon.

palisade peach + tarragon spritzes | rituals | holly & flora

palisade peach + tarragon spritzes | rituals | holly & floraI’m already looking forward to coming back home tonight and enjoying our new, favorite ritual: watching Stranger Things. Maybe it’s more like an addiction than a ritual. The show is creepy and nostalgic. It reminds me of both the The Goonies and the X-Files, and the soundtrack is a mashup of the sounds of three of my favorite musical acts, Junior Boys, Telefon Tel Aviv, and the Boards of Canada {especially their album, “Tomorrow’s Harvest“}. Even though it conjures up good, 80s memories for me, it still makes me turn the lights on and hold my cats, when I climb back upstairs to go to sleep.

I hope they make a second season.

Have a stellar weekend and say an extra prayer for me and Steve tonight. Actually, it’s looking a little slower tonight, thankfully. With rain in the forecast and the opening ceremonies for the Olympic Games on the books, I think a lot of people will sit this concert out. Fine by me!!






  1. Sue Stentz says:

    I found a cute Basil in Colorado Springs to plant this year called Serata Sweet Basil. It has curly edged leaves and is strong tasting.
    Glad to know about the Jardesca from California. Thank you!

    • I will have to look out for the Serata Sweet Basil. Which shop/catalog did you find it? And yes, the Jardesca was one of my favorite finds out in CA. It’s light and citrusy and is excellent on the rocks with a splash of soda and some lemon. Maybe some of your basil, too! 😉

  2. Susan says:

    Beautiful post! And congratulations on the SAVEUR nod!

    • Thank you so much, Susan! I so appreciate your support over the years. J can’t wait to read your latest in a few, over some much-needed coffee. 💞 This was one of my favorite drinks this summer … so far.

  3. Chuck Steese says:

    This was a very fun post to read. The problem for readers like me is we find ourselves at your concert series instead of relaxing in our homes making a delicious palisade peach spritz.

  4. […] my last post, I mentioned that Steve and I have been completely smitten {okay, obsessed} with Stranger Things, a […]

  5. Maren says:

    Beautiful photos, btw. I love using fresh herbs in my cocktails, too, and Jerdesca seems like it would be a great match for all of the ingredients. I look forward to trying these!

  6. […] Palisade Peach, Basil + Tarragon Spritzes by Holly & Flora […]

Let me know your thoughts!


get the latest posts

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter, where you'll receive exclusive access to the garden-to-glass drink recipes I share here on the blog.

sign me up

let's drink by the season

see all

How to Get Up and Work Out 

The Best Hostess Hacks for Parties

We Ate 19 Macarons So You Don't Have To

Where to Go on Your Next Girl's Trip


For cocktail recipes, scenes at the vineyard, and wine stories, follow along at

join me on



For cocktail recipes, scenes at the vineyard, and wine stories, follow along at

join me on


%d bloggers like this: