I know what you’re thinking straight off the bat here, and it’s something along the lines of “No, impossible, the best peach iced tea recipes simply MUST come from Georgia!” While Georgia does boast some beautiful peaches and even peach-enhanced license plates, they’re simply producing more peaches and better peach-related marketing. The peaches themselves aren’t necessarily tastier, and a lot of experts tend to think New Jersey has the best peaches in the country. I feel entitled to back this sentiment up because my childhood neighbor, a lovely little gal named Sadye, had the most delish peach tree of all time growing in her yard. Those were, in fact, the first peaches I ever had and they spoiled me for life. No gross, mass market peach would ever quite taste the same, and some 30 years later I still prefer farm fresh Jersey peaches when compared to any other variety.
New Jersey is currently 4th in the nation when it comes to peach production, just behind Georgia, South Carolina, and California, but the delicate nature of their skin and sweet insides (thanks to richer soil!) makes them nearly impossible to find in stores west of the Mississippi. All Jersey peaches are picked by hand, too, so that’s pretty impressive when you think about the 60 million pounds harvested each year.
August is officially New Jersey Peach Month (seriously, that’s a thing!), so I caught up with James Mullen of New Jersey dining institution, Frog & Peach, to get the scoop on why this particular peach season is super important. “As a result of the cold spell in March the Jersey Peach season will be shorter than normal this year; into August but not into September. Although the forecast was initially even worse my fears were allayed by our local purveyor. It sounds like the supermarkets will have a shorter season than restaurants like The Frog & Peach. Hopefully!”
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Do you know what this means? It’s time to turn our sad, limited Jersey peach season reality into the best peach iced tea recipe of all time. Without further adieu, here is James’ coveted formula. I can personally vouch for it, and if I wasn’t trying to control my caffeine intake, I’d be drinking NOTHING but this stuff.
For one serving of the best peach iced tea recipe ever (but obviously feel free to multiply, because one will not be enough):
- 6 ounces of unsweetened iced tea, preferably oolong
- 1/2 ounce of fresh Jersey peach puree (whip out your blender, that’s about 1/4 of an average peach)
- 1/4 ounce of Monin peach syrup (don’t worry, it’s literally kosher, halal, vegan, non-GMO, and all the other stuff you care about)
- Garnish with fresh mint and a lemon twist, if desired.
Peach-obsessed friends, it’s that easy, but the key is using ripe, Jersey peaches for this — otherwise, well, it’s just basic.