White Balsamic Peach Shrub Soda
September 6, 2022
Homemade soda just hits differently, especially when it’s made with fresh and juicy peaches. This soda features a white balsamic peach shrub syrup for a refreshing and sweet flavor with the perfect amount of tang.
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I’ve been leaning hard into the produce of summer with baked goods, but it’s fun to change things up and make a bubbly and refreshing beverage instead. And the best part about this one is that it’s zero-proof, but also super easy to use as a mixer for a quick and impressive cocktail.
When I saw the baskets of peaches at the farm stand, I couldn’t resist them, especially once I thought about how delicious those juicy morsels would be combined with white balsamic vinegar in this simple-to-make, but complex-tasting soda. Plus, you get to snack on some pickled peach pieces, so it’s a win overall.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for this white balsamic peach shrub soda at your grocery store:
- Produce: Peaches
- Pantry: Sugar, White balsamic vinegar, Sea salt
- Fridge: Soda water
- Equipment: Saucepan, Mesh strainer, SodaStream (optional)
How to Make a White Balsamic Peach Shrub Syrup
Stone fruit season is always one of my favorites. It can get overshadowed, falling toward the end of berry season and right at the beginning of apples. But you can’t forget about the plums, nectarines, apricots, and peaches when they are perfectly ripe and juicy.
Prepare the Peaches
In this recipe, peaches are going to be your star. If you are working with fresh ones, you’ll want them perfectly ripe, or possibly a little overripe. Leave those rock-hard peaches on the counter for a few days before using them in this shrub.
You can also use frozen or canned peaches in the recipe. For frozen, let them thaw to room temperature and pat them dry. Canned peaches should be drained thoroughly. In both cases, there’s also a step right at the beginning of the recipe you can skip, which is used to soften fresh peaches.
As for varieties, I like using yellow freestone peaches. White peaches have their own lovely floral and sweet flavor that will work in this shrub, but it will taste slightly different. Freestone are simply easier to work with than cling peaches.
Once you’ve chosen your peaches, it’s time to prep them. There’s no need to peel these, unless you really want to. However, be sure to remove the pits and then dice them into half- or three-quarter-inch chunks.
Add those peach chunks into a medium saucepan along with some sugar. Since peaches are such a sweet fruit already, I chose to go fairly light on the sugar here compared to some other shrubs I’ve made. But it’s still needed for flavor and to help the peaches begin releasing their juices.
Begin the Peach Shrub Syrup
Cook these two together over medium-low heat, and stir gently, coating the peaches with the sugar until it has dissolved. It will start to get a little bit syrupy as well. At that point, you can cover the pan and let the peaches cook for two minutes to soften. (This is the step you can skip if using canned or frozen peaches).
Next, add in the white balsamic vinegar. If you’re not familiar, this type of vinegar has a similar flavor to its darker cousin, but milder and less intense. It also has the benefit of being a lighter color, which means you’ll really get to enjoy the pretty peachy-pink of this shrub.
After adding the vinegar, cover the pot again, this time increasing the heat to medium high. Allow the syrup to come up to a boil, and then once it’s bubbling, let it cook for an additional couple minutes before turning off the heat.
When you uncover the pan, you might be surrounded by the stringent aroma of vinegar, so be cautious. Stir in a pinch of sea salt, just to help bring out all the yummy flavors here, and then cover the pot loosely and set it aside to cool. You want it to breathe here, so an askew lid or piece of foil will work better than the tight lid you used while cooking.
After about an hour or so, the shrub syrup should be cool enough to use to make the soda!
However, if you are making it in advance, you may want to pause here. The shrub syrup can be stored in a tightly sealed container for up to two months. If you want to store the peach chunks as well, they will last longer in the syrup, since they are essentially quick pickles. Together, they will fill a pint-sized mason jar.
Strain the Syrup and Mix the Soda
Pour the peach shrub through a fine mesh strainer to separate the peaches from the shrub syrup. Be sure to save both the syrup and the peach chunks to use in your soda, especially if you want that fun almost-cocktail feel with a fruity garnish.
You can store the shrub on its own at this point as well. You should have just about the right amount to fill a half-pint-sized mason jar.
Fill a double old fashioned glass or other lowball glass about halfway with ice, and then add a couple tablespoons of the syrup into the glass. If you are making a big batch of these, I suggest lining up all the glasses with ice, and building these assembly-line style.
Next, add the soda water on top of the syrup slowly, as the sugar in the syrup will cause the soda to bubble up. Stir gently to combine everything together, allowing it to get a nice fizzy layer on top of the glass.
Another option for making a large batch, or if you want to have these sodas premixed, is to combine the syrup and soda water without ice (but using the same proportions). Then, you can store it in a covered pitcher or soda bottle for a couple days.
A tighter sealed bottle will lead to less carbonation loss, but be careful not to use something that can’t handle the build-up of pressure.
Finally, add a few of those vinegar-drenched peach chunks onto a cocktail skewer, and place it into your glass of soda. Once you’ve combined the soda with ice, it’s best to serve this immediately. The ice melt will not only dilute the drink, but will also cause it to go flat faster.
If you are looking for something with a little more kick, this peach shrub can also work excellently as a cocktail mixer. Just combine the prepared soda with your favorite liquor, such as vodka, whiskey, or a dry floral or citrus-forward gin.
This would also work well with flavored vodkas, especially something that complements but doesn’t overwhelm peach, like herbal, melon, citrus, or berry flavors.
Sip on something sweet and refreshing that feels like pure summer, with this zero-proof white balsamic peach shrub soda!
How to Serve White Balsamic Peach Shrub Soda
A drink like this can be enjoyed any time of the day and any time of the year, especially since the peach shrub stores so well in the fridge. Mix yourself a fresh soda whenever you are feeling like you need a burst of this sweet and tangy freshness in your life.
I love the idea of serving this drink with a fancy peach-themed brunch. Since it’s zero proof, guests of all ages can enjoy it. You can also mix it into a cocktail or serve it alongside a strong brown sugar peach and bourbon smash, for those who want to kick it up a notch. Either way, enjoy it with some rosemary and sage waffles with a peach compote.
During happy hour, serve glasses of this refreshing soda alongside some brown butter peach avocado toast, or raspberry and cucumber canapes. And don’t forget dessert! You’ll love this drink with mid-summer fruit tarts to celebrate the season or peach cupcakes with mascarpone buttercream all year long.
More Stone Fruit Recipes to Try
- Spiced Apricot Ricotta Toast
- Honey Pavlova with Chai-Poached Plums
- Peach & Plum Crumble with Walnut Streusel
- Honey Nectarine Cheesecake with Ginger Sour Cream
- Buttercream and Plum Jam French Macarons
- Cream Cheese and Nectarine Stuffed French Toast
- Homemade Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches with Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Skillet Plum Buckle with Ginger-Almond Streusel
Other Zero-Proof Drinks You’ll Love
White Balsamic Peach Shrub Soda
White Balsamic Peach Shrub (makes 8oz)
- 2 Peaches pitted and diced into ½- to ¾-inch pieces
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- ½ Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- 2 Tbsp White Balsamic Peach Shrub
- 6 oz Soda Water freshly carbonated or just opened
- 2-3 Peach Pieces (strained from the shrub)
- In a medium saucepan, combine the peaches and sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, and the peaches have started to release their juices. Then cover and cook for two minutes.
- Add the vinegar, then cover again, increasing the heat to medium high. Bring the syrup to a boil, and then allow it to cook 1-2 minutes more.
- Turn off the heat and add in the sea salt, stirring to combine. Then loosely cover and set the pan aside to cool for at least an hour.
- After the shrub has cooled, pour it through a fine mesh strainer, saving the syrup and the peach chunks separately.
- To make the soda, mix 2 Tbsp of the shrub syrup with 6-8 oz of Soda Water over ice. Stir gently until it's slightly fizzy on top. Then garnish with skewered peach chunks and serve immediately.
- Make ahead tips:
- The shrub syrup either strained or unstrained can be made in advance and stored in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 months.
- If you want to store the peach chunks as well, they will last longer in the syrup, since they are essentially quick pickles.
- You can also store the mixed soda without ice in a covered pitcher or soda bottle for 1-2 days. A tighter seal will lead to less carbonation loss.
- This recipe works well with fresh peaches. For frozen or canned peaches, skip the initial step to cover and soften the peach pieces. Frozen pieces should be thawed and pat dry. Canned peaches should be drained thoroughly.
- It's best to use the freshest soda water possible. If you have a SodaStream or other carbonating system, that works well. You can also open a fresh can or bottle. I don't recommend using an already open bottle of soda, as it may have started to go flat.
- Make it a cocktail: