Catch the fleeting stone-fruit season while you still can — in a glass.
This fruity spin on a margarita combines smoky mezcal, citrusy Cointreau, and sweet-tart cherry puree in a vibrant red drink perfect for late-summer sipping. Bright, pleasantly tart sour cherries are in season for a limited window, so this simple roasted puree is an easy way to preserve their flavor. Try it on ice cream or over pancakes, too.
This fruity gin fizz isn't overly sweet, allowing the flavor of the caramelized plums to shine. A botanical gin works well with the fruit in this cocktail, adding herbaceous and fruity notes. To play up the deep color of the plums, try Empress 1908, a royal purple–hued, botanical-style spirit. For a vegan version, in place of the egg white, substitute 3 tablespoons unsalted or low-sodium aquafaba. (Note that you won't get quite as much foam.) The same roast-and-puree technique can be used for more stone fruits, such as apricots and sour cherries.
A puree of roasted apricots and nectarines brings out bourbon's notes of vanilla and nutmeg, making for the ultimate late-summer cocktail. Pour some of the reserved puree on top of the crushed ice for a cocktail that almost resembles a Hawaiian shave ice. The same roast-and-puree technique can be used for more stone fruits, such as plums and sour cherries.