PEACH-MANIA

A critical discourse on the Fuzzy Navel

We here at Trendspotters Central were first alerted to peach-mania by a staff member whose dedication to cutting-edge drinking is such that we have considered identifying him on our masthead as Cocktail Editor. He was coming in on Monday mornings muttering about lost weekends spent downing Peach Fuzzes and Fuzzy Navels.

It turns out that the Fuzzy Navel/Peach Fuzz is this year’s Harvey Wallbanger. According to Terilli’s bartender Jerry Bru-neau, the Fuzzy Navel is a shot of peach schnapps and orange juice on the rocks, and the Peach Fuzz consists of a shot of peach schnapps and 1/4 ounce of vodka, topped with orange juice (and an optional addition of cranberry juice to lend a blushing hue), shaken with ice, and strained-and his customers are ordering lots of them.

Beau Nash bartender Gary Miller concurs: “I’d never heard of the Fuzzy Navel before a few months ago, but now we sell tons of them. It’s real popular at Sunday brunch instead of a mimosa. Another drink that’s taken off is the Bellini, which is one part peach nectar to three parts champagne.”

Our tasting panel found the Fuzzy Navel and the Peach Fuzz to be delightfully fragrant and perfectly pleasant tasting, if too sweet for regular consumption. The Bellini, however, met with our concerted approval. In the spirit of dedicated research, we anted up for good champagne and imported Bellini juice (made from white peaches, lemons, and black currants) from Harry’s Bar in Venice, where the drink originated. (The Bellini juice, which costs $11 for 11 ounces, is imported through Club du Faisan and available at Stanley Korshak at the Crescent.)

Still, there are those who see such drinks as evidence of the decay of Western civilization. Dallas designer David Feld, for one, plainly shares the late A.J. Liebling’s scorn for “those who like their alcohol in conjunction with the reassuring tastes of infancy.” Feld, who tasted his first and last Fuzzy Navel when someone gave him one, says: “These drinks are just part of the endless quest for ways to disguise high-proof alcohol so that it doesn’t taste like alcohol.”

Feld and Liebling would have been horrified by a batch of peach-flavored drinks that a trip to the liquor store turned up. My tasting panel was determined to get to the bottom of the sudden surge in peach-flavored alcoholic tipples. However, after passing judgment on the Tropic Freezer daiquiri (passable, if somewhat artificial-tasting and entirely unnaturally colored), the Seagram’s Golden Spirits peach melba rum cooler (peach-scented, but with very little discernible taste), and the Seagram’s peach wine cooler (ammonia-scented and flavored), the panel members were feeling less than peachy.

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