Peach Pit Tea Shrub
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
It's still summertime and now it's full-on peach season, which means that a lot of pits are going to waste and no one has any idea what to do with them. 🍑
Even I found it difficult to come up with something, but after researching some of the world's greatest restaurants, I found out that the pits are actually used in a variety of condiments from syrups to salad dressings.
Although I was initially afraid because they contain small traces of amygdalin which can transform into cyanide once in the stomach, you would have to consume an immense quantity of just the kernels found inside of them.
Experts do state that it would be almost impossible to eat that amount.
Plus you can rest assured that for this recipe we won't be cracking them open or ingesting them, we will just be using the flavor of the outer pit!
On top of that, we will be reusing previously brewed green tea bags to balance the flavor of the pits and bring this ingredient to a whole new level!
So the next time you are using fresh peaches for your desserts or Bellini's, save the pits and get ready to make a Shrub for your cocktails and mocktails!
A shrub is a kind of cordial that combines:
Shrubs came into popularity back in the day because the sugar and vinegar preserved the leftover fruits of the season.
They have now made a comeback in the mixology world and will be essential for Sustainable Bartending as well because of their ability to preserve!
For this recipe, we are going to include ANOTHER food waste item which are brewed green tea bags.
Teabags are usually used once and then thrown out, but we can re-brew them a second or third time to help make this shrub.
Giving them a second brew might not be very pleasing to drink on its own, but for making a syrup it tastes even better!
Feel free to try this recipe with black tea as well!
We will divide the recipe into 2 parts: Peach Pit Vinegar and Green Tea Syrup
Both of these ingredients will have to be made separately and then combined at the end in order to make the shrub.
Peach Pit Vinegar
The Peach Pit Vinegar begins with our Pits. The more the merrier, but you should at least have 4 of them for this recipe.
If your pits still have peach flesh stuck to them, put them in a dehydrator or oven for a few minutes so that you can remove the flesh more easily.
Once you have smoother shaped pits make sure to wash them well.
Put them in a pan on high heat to give them a nice toasted flavor.
Toast for 5-10min. Don't worry about burning them. It adds to the flavor!
While they are toasting, measure up 300ml of Apple Cider Vinegar and put in a pot.
As soon as your pits a decently toasted, transfer them immediately in the pot of vinegar and bring everything to a boil.
(You want the pits to be scolding hot so that they infuse well with the vinegar).
Once your vinegar reaches a boil, lower it down to a simmer.
Normal Boil Simmer
The objective here is to reduce the vinegar by half the initial amount. So if the initial amount is 300ml, reduce it down to 150ml.
(If you wish to scale up the recipe always remember to reduce your vinegar by half, no matter what the amount)
Keep an eye on the vinegar and make sure to measure it every once in a while.
(I apologize in advance for the smell you'll have in the room. Make sure to have your ventilation on and preferably no one around).
Once your vinegar is reduced by half, let it cool and bottle it up leaving the pits with the vinegar.
The vinegar should have darkened considerably in color and will taste differently.
If you let the Pit Vinegar sit for 2-4 weeks it will become even more flavorful! Leave it for a while for more intense results!
Otherwise, proceed with the next section.
TIP: If you have too much of it leftover, remember to use it as a salad dressing! It's delicious!
Leftover Green Tea Syrup
Leftover green tea syrup is simply re-brewed green tea leaves with sugar.
If you're already someone who brews twice with the same tea bag, you can do this recipe even with a 3rd time brew. Simply follow the steps.
Grab the tea bag you wish to reuse and rip it open.
Take out all of the tea leaves in the bag and scrape out as much as possible using a knife.
Grab your loose leaves and put them in a pot of water.
For every loose leaf tea bag and combine with 150ml of water.
Bring everything to a boil, and once reached lower down to a simmer.
Normal Boil Simmer
You'll let your brew simmer for around 5min, and your objective here is to reduce everything yet again, but just down to 100ml. Make sure to measure it for accuracy.
Once its reduced, combine 100ml of sugar to the tea and let it dissolve.
Once dissolved pour everything through a cheesecloth or some kind of fine filter to remove every bit of leaf from the syrup.
After combining the tea with the sugar, you should have a final measurement of 150ml from the same exact amount as your vinegar if you followed the measurements above!
This ingredient will balance the Pit Vinegar's acidity and give density to the ingredient.
Combine Pit Vinegar and Tea Syrup
Once you have both of your ingredients ready, it's time to combine them to make the shrub!
This is an easy 1:1. ratio, combine the 150ml of Vinegar to 150ml of Syrup.
And that's it! Not so difficult is it?
This shrub will act as a sweet and sour ingredient with fruitiness and earthiness coming from the pits and tea.
It will hold up well with many types of spirits and liqueurs, but I found the one it works best with...
Scotch Whisky works in harmony with green tea and with apple cider vinegar. On top of that, the peach pits give extra bold flavors.
Experiment with your type of Scotch and let me know what the results were.
For this Shrub I will leave you with a cocktail that is pretty much a twist on a Sandy Collins which contains: Scotch, Sugar, Lemon, Club Soda.