Shrubs, sometimes called drinking vinegars, are an infusion of fruit, sugar, and acid. They were developed to preserve fruit before refrigeration existed and are a great way to use up slightly bruised or overripe seasonal fruit. This easy peach shrub starts by macerating peaches with sugar for two days and then adding vinegar and basil leaves. After about a week, the infusion is strained and you’re left with a potent sweet-tart drinking vinegar that has the essence of peach and a touch of herb flavor, ready to be turned into a nonalcoholic spritzer or added to cocktails.
To make a peach shrub spritzer, combine 2 parts club soda with 1 part peach shrub and pour over ice. Taste and add more club soda or shrub as needed.
What to buy: Nectarines can be substituted for the peaches, and because the fruit is macerated and then discarded, slightly bruised or overripe fruit can be used.
Game plan: This recipe needs 2 days of maceration time and at least 7 days of infusion time, so plan accordingly.
Click here to watch CHOW Product Manager Suzy Brannon make this shrub in her CHOW Tip video.