I have made delicious peach shrub! Approximate recipe:

apple cider vinegar
vanilla extract

Chop peaches into small pieces and put into a container with lid. Pour over just enough apple cider vinegar to cover the peaches. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours (mine were in there for 5 days, resulting in delightfully pickled peach bits for me to make into chutney at some point).

Strain the vinegar and juice out of the peaches. Poke it with a spoon to get all the juice you can. Measure the liquid and put in a pot with an equal amount of sugar. I used 2 medium peaches, which resulted in 1 cup of liquid. Add spices and vanilla to taste. I added rather a lot of vanilla (at least 1tsp), which worked beautifully. Boil mixture for 5 minutes. Let cool and pour into a bottle; store in the fridge. (With that much vinegar and sugar, it’s quite possibly shelf-stable, and probably cannable, but I’m not going to try.)

Note: When you boil it, it will produce copious amounts of froth. Stir constantly and take it off the heat periodically when it threatens to boil over.

To turn into delicious colonial soft drink, mix the syrup with water, seltzer, or iced tea to taste. Can also be made alcoholic, but that was apparently less common. Instead of or in addition to sugar, you can use honey. Or maple syrup, I assume, but that would give it a rather strong flavor.

I like this even better than the ginger stuff I got in Salem. That had a much more pronounced vinegar taste, which I liked, but was a bit odd. I think the peaches meld more with the vinegar, so that you get peach-apple-sour flavor without it registering as vinegary. The vanilla and spices round it out very nicely. The peaches I used were not meltingly ripe, which I assume would have made the finished product even peachier.


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