Purists should pause and give this charmer a chance. (photo by Amy Lynch for Wine and Whiskey Globe)

First of all, seriously, this place makes the best cocktail cherries. We’ve said this before. So their expertise with fruit in general should come as no real surprise. Still, Traverse City Whiskey Co.’s limited-edition American Lakeside Peach whiskey ($30) may just be the ideal summer sipper. Made with regionally sourced fruit, the new peach-flavored expression joins a portfolio that includes American Cherry and Michigan Apple whiskeys, along with bourbon, rye, canned highballs, and those fantastic gourmet cocktail cherries.

Although cherries (and the pies derived from them) remain the top crop in this stretch of northern Michigan peninsula, the lakefront tempered climate and fertile soil lends itself nicely to other plantings as well.

“Michigan peaches are full of flavor, and when combined with our premium aged bourbon, they create a delicious spirit,” said Chris Fredrickson, co-founder of Traverse City. “Our new Lakeside Peach is on par with our cherry and apple whiskeys—and just won a silver medal at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition.”

The spirit draws drinkers in at first whiff with a heady perfume of fruit and floral notes, calling to mind Jolly Ranchers candy. Not overly sweet, the whiskey manages to successfully merge the predominant peach notes with bourbon, sweet tea, cream, and vanilla. Can’t help but think that this spirit would blend delightfully with lemonade—or make a delicious addition to a boozy milkshake.