I'm a huge fan of shrubs. No, not bushes, but the drinking vinegars that were popular during Colonial Times. It was a great way of preserving fruits and provided for a cooling and flavorful beverage. Turns out they're way awesome in cocktails and provide a great sweet and sour flavor profile. They can be found at most bars now with a smart cocktail program. I made my first shrub this past fall with freshly picked apples and added it to a Spicy Cider Mill cocktail with bourbon and ginger beer. I loved the combination of a fruit shrub with ginger, so I decided to make something similar using using The King's Ginger liqueur and a peach shrub, to celebrate the flavors of summer.
I picked up a pound of ripe, yellow peaches from Summer Harvest Farms at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market and set about making the shrub, which takes a week. Just add 1 lb (about 3 peaches) of chopped yellow or white peaches to a glass container (you want a non-reactive vessel, so no metal!). Add 1 cup of sugar and mash up the peaches a little in it, so it's pretty well combined. Refrigerate for two days, stirring again after one day. After those two days, add 1 cup of champagne or white wine vinegar and stir. Let that mixture sit for another five days in the fridge. After, strain out all the peaches and squeeze the juice out of them. Bottle it up and keep refrigerated! When I'm not making cocktails with it, I love adding an ounce or two to some club soda or sparking water.
Now, on to the cocktail. Since I'm a big fan of the sour flavor of shrubs, I used about an ounce and a half of the peach shrub, but feel free to cut it down by half an ounce. This cocktail is incredibly refreshing and has a slight spicy bite from that ginger liqueur. This is also a great drink to batch and serve as a punch for barbecues. It would be killer with some ribs...
Ain't She a Peach
- 2 oz bourbon - I used Four Roses
- 1 1/2 oz peach shrub
- 1/2 oz The King's Ginger liqueur
- 1-2 oz club soda, to taste
- In a shaker filled with ice, add the bourbon, peach shrub and ginger liqueur.
- Strain into an ice-filled glass and top with club soda.