The Fruity Soda To Mix With Bourbon For A Bobby Flay-Approved Summer Cocktail

While Bobby Flay is an all-around master chef and revered restaurateur, he flexes serious muscles when it comes to all things grilling. There are his shows "Grill It! With Bobby Flay" and "BBQ Brawl," his book "Bobby Flay's Grilling for Life," and his 2024 collaboration with Pepsi called Grills Night Out, which highlights how the soda enhances the ultimate grilling experience. In honor of the busy chef's creativity and know-how behind the grill, Tasting Table caught up with Bobby Flay for an exclusive interview to get his tips on summer entertaining. Among helpful recommendations on what foods to buy and serve, Flay dished on a cocktail option that's perfect for both the person working the grill and the guests at the barbecue. It's effortless to make, plays on classic flavors, and sounds delicious and refreshing.

Pepsi's collaboration with Bobby Flay, which also includes a #BetterWithPepsi social media campaign, celebrates two limited-edition summer flavors of the soda — lime and peach. For the Pepsi Lime, Flay had pairing ideas, like letting the acidity and brightness of the soda's lime play with those flavors in salsa, relish, and guacamole. For Pepsi Peach, the pairing he suggested was to combine the cola with bourbon. Peach is sweet and earthy, which both tempers and complements bourbon's vanilla, caramel sweetness, woody notes, and subtle heat from its alcohol. 

How to make Bobby Flay's Pepsi Peach and bourbon cocktail

There are endless ideas for cocktails featuring bourbon. The peach smash has been a staple since legendary bartender Dale DeGroff created the Whiskey Peach Smash in the 1980s. While that drink calls on bourbon, orange liqueur, lemon, mint, and peach, Bobby Flay's suggested pairing of bourbon and Pepsi Peach nails a lot of the same flavors and same refreshing character with a fraction of the ingredients. The resulting cocktail is caramel-sweet, earthy, and tart. Flay also recommends a touch of spice to perfect that balance. 

"I would say maybe you take some bourbon, lots of ice, some of the peach Pepsi, and then maybe some fresh ginger, delicious," Flay told Tasting Table. "So the ginger and the peach and the bourbon go really nicely together."

When mixing your Pepsi Peach and bourbon consider what goes into the whiskey highball for guidance on proportions. A highball is the simple partnering of a spirit and a carbonated mixer. The essential highball calls for 2 ounces of the spirit and 4 to 6 ounces of the mixer, depending on your own preferences. So, to whip up Flay's Pepsi Peach and bourbon refresher, try adding 2 ounces of your favorite bourbon with 4 to 6 ounces of Pepsi Peach into a tall glass over what Flay suggests is lots of ice, and then garnishing with fresh ginger. In just a minute, you'll have a hot-weather treat that pairs well with your favorite barbecue dishes.