Instructions for Hot Process:
Heat sugar and vinegar in large sauce pan, constantly stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. Do not inhale close to the pan - the hot vinegar fumes may make you cough.
Add chopped peaches and simmer for about five minutes to release the juices and flavours into the syrup.
Remove from heat and allow to fully cool. Use cheesecloth to fully strain out solids.
Bottle into clean glass jar(s). Refrigerate for 2-4 days to allow mixture to fully develop in flavour.
Instructions for Cold Process:
Add vinegars and fruit to a large jar with lid. Shake vigorously to combine. OR add ingredients to a pitcher and smash with a potato masher to macerate the fruit.
Allow mixture to infuse at room temperature for about one week, shaking or stirring daily.
Use cheesecloth to fully strain out solids and refrigerate for up to one week.
Before serving, add sugar or sweeteners, or more vinegar, to taste.
After completing either process, serve the prepared mixture with sparkling water or champagne.
Chef's Note: Add fresh mint or basil for even more complex flavour. And of course try this recipe with ANY fruit flavoured balsamic vinegar of your choice! How fun!
Note: A shrub is a drink made from vinegar and fruit along with other ingredients such as alcohol or sparkling water. Vinegar has a way of both infusing and pulling out the flavor from ingredients which are steeped in it. This maceration process is simple and delightfully tasty. It's also a healthy alternative to store bought sweetened drinks. With spring's abundance of produce imminent, use your imagination to create delightful combinations of seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables, berries, and vinegar to make all manner of mixers and spritzers.