Dana Slatkin

Barefoot Peach Bellinis, Sugar-Free

Peach BelliniJune is a month of goodbyes. My kids graduate — from preschool, elementary school, and junior high — leaving behind familiar classrooms, teachers, and friends. My oldest takes off for camp in Maine. And the rest of us bid our annual adieu to L.A. as we recamp to a tiny mountain town in Colorado.

There will be tears of joy and farewell hugs. And (you know me so well by now) my kids will get a good dose of mom wisdom to pocket for their journeys ahead. But lest you think I’m about as much fun as fish oil, I assure you there will be numerous festivities. We’ll mark the milestones with bubbly drinks, bountiful fare, and plenty of togetherness around the table.

This effervescent summer cocktail is what I’ll be pouring as we toast to graduation and summer. I’ve swapped classic yet cloying peach schnapps with cleaner-tasting agave. Of course, I’ll whip up two separate pitchers, one for the kiddies (a peachy spritzer) and one for the grown-ups made with my favorite local bubbly (this one tastes as good as its name, Barefoot Cellars Bubbly Pink Moscato). If you are using fresh peaches, which I encourage you to do when they are chin-dripping juicy, don’t bother peeling them…passing the purée through a sieve does the trick.

Any ripe fruit is perfectly suitable: watermelon, honeydew, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apricots, plums. With glass in hand, simply find a shady tree, kick off the shoes, and say Hello, Summertime!

Here are a few more summer thirst-quenchers to try:

Photo credit: Redbook

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