Peach Shrub Syrup
Adapted from The Peach Truck Cookbook
2 medium peaches
2 cups sugar
1 tsp whole, black peppercorns
2 large sprigs of basil
2 tbsp water
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
8 cups fizzy water
Chop peaches into rough cubes and remove pit. Add peaches, sugar, peppercorns, basil, and water to a large pot. Heat on medium-high heat so the mixture begins to boil. Stir until sugar is melted. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and mash up the mixture with a potato masher, muddler, back of a wooden spoon… Let sit for 30 minutes.
Once the mixture has cooled, pour through a fine mesh sieve, keeping the syrup and discarding the solids.
Move the syrup to a container you’d like to keep it in (this recipe fits nicely into a pint Ball jar) and stir in vinegar. Cover and move to the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Mix 2 tablespoons of shrub per half cup of fizzy water for a spritzer. Add 1-2 shots of rum for an alcoholic version.
Keep shrub sealed and chilled for up to 12 months. Yummy!
So, the Peach Truck rolled through a couple weeks ago. I had never heard of the Peach Truck before, but I saw ads start popping up on instagram, and then I saw it mentioned on a local news feed I follow, and my husband even sent me their website when he started seeing articles about it too. What could I do except get some?
The smallest amount of peaches you can purchase at a time is half a bushel, which comes out to be 25 pounds, and in our case, 70 peaches. Whew. That’s like…a lot of peaches all at once. I had just been shopping around for some peaches though to work on a fancy peach cake I’ve had in the works for a while, and I’m never at a loss for ideas what it comes to food crafting. So, we did it. And for a little extra help, we bought their cookbook too!
I spent an entire week working with peaches non-stop. It was exciting, a little overwhelming at times, and so seriously delicious.
Needless to say, I have a whirlwind of peach recipes coming up. Today, I want to start with the Peach Shrub syrup, which is quite a relaxed start to this adventure and such a fun, fizzy treat.
Okay, but first, do you know what shrub syrup is? Because until I made it, I didn’t know. It’s my understanding that a syrup enters the shrub family when you add acidity. That acidity, is vinegar. Gross. But also, not gross. Just stay with me on this one.
You basically stew up some sweet fruit for a while, with some herbs and spices for complexity, then you add white vinegar, stir, and mix a couple tablespoons into fizzy water. The vinegar brightens up the fruit and cuts through that sweetness to create the most magical balance. It becomes so incredibly refreshing and is just perfect for a hot summer evening. I like mine with just fizzy water, and my husband likes his with a bit more punch and bitter so he adds a shot of dark rum.
This is a recipe I will keep going back to, and now that I know the basics, I have so many combinations of flavors to try! I’ve been getting obsessed with rhubarb this week, so I’m thinking that’ll be next.
So, let’s begin.
Prepare your peaches by washing and slicing into 6 slices per peach (no need to peel). Pull out the pit and then chop each slice into three pieces. This will give you some nice sized cube-ish pieces to toss into a large pot.
Add sugar, peppercorns, basil (chop or don’t, shrub don’t care), and water to your pot and heat to bring the mixture to a boil. With a wooden spoon, stir up the mixture a bit so the sugar can begin to dissolve and everything gets some heat.
Once the sugar has all dissolved, lower the heat so the mixture is only simmering, and let it simmer for about 4 or 5 minutes to cook down the fruit. Stir periodically to heat everything evenly.
Turn off the heat and mash up the mixture in the pot. I don’t have a great tool for this, so I use the end of my french rolling pin and that works just fine. You just want to get those peaches mashed to let out all the juice.
Let this marinate and cool for 30 minutes. After which, strain the mixture, retaining the liquid and throwing out the remaining solids. I like to put the liquid in a pint Ball jar. Top off the syrup with your vinegar (it’s shrub now!) and cover and place in the fridge for two hours or more. Once it has had time to sit and chill, take two tablespoons of shrub per 1/2 cup of fizzy water for a refreshing drink. Top with ice and fresh basil, and maybe a shot or two of rum if you’re feeling saucy.
You can even make a batch of spritzer that will keep well in the fridge for two or three weeks. The bottle I used (pictured) is a 1-liter bottle (1 liter = 4 cups). You can’t quite fit a whole liter as well as the 8 tablespoons though (8 tbsp = 1/2 cup), so I went for 3 1/2 cups of fizzy water and 7 tablespoons.
3 1/2 cups fizzy water
7 tablespoons shrub
= 1 liter of spritzer
That was more for me that you. I’m not very mathy, so I had to work it out for a minute.
I hope you love this spritzer and shrub mixture. I think it’s just wonderful!