Photo: Robert Haynes-Peterson
Peach brandy may not seem like the most masculine of spirits, but it was
one of George Washington's favorite cocktails. And who's going to argue with the Father of Our Country?
Not the five American distillers who met in Mount Vernon
last week to brew a batch of this original American dram. Standing around buckets of bubbling peach juice, they occasionally stoked fires warming the high-proof liquid, much like George Washington's distiller may have done more than two centuries ago.This particular batch of peach brandy will be aged, bottled and sold similarly to the limited-edition rye whiskey
that disappeared in a quick three-hour public sale this summer.
Lance Winters of St. George Spirits, in California, cut peach slices while David Pickerell of Whistlepig Rye dipped his fingers into a stream of brandy trickling into a wooden bucket. "We started with about 300 gallons of peach juice and will end up with about a fifth of that in brandy once it's ready for barreling," said Pickerell. This is almost the exact amount of peach brandy recorded in the Mount Vernon distillery's production ledger in 1799.