I’ve bragged about my brother, Rich, a lot on this blog and it’s not only because he’s so talented in just about everything he does, but also because I consider him to be one of my best friends. After I moved to Charlotte and he was still in Charleston, it was much harder to get down there to see him, but now that he’s in Greenville, it’s a short drive and I’ve gone down there multiple times. Rich has been planting an herb garden on his back porch and busy making vinegars for cocktails, so I thought it was the perfect time to go visit and make some cocktails. First, though, we had to make the pineapple and peach vinegars to mix into the cocktails.
I know what you’re thinking: vinegar? Like, regular white vinegar? And the answer is yes. Just plain white vinegar – you’re not using anything fancy here. Don’t let that scare you though. These vinegars are really, really tasty. You can drink them on their own (although you’ll still get that hard kick of vinegar, if that bothers you), but they really shine mixed into drinks.They’re sweet and acidic and you can make them with pretty much any fruit – so let your imagination go wild. Rich made a pineapple and peach vinegar because the fruits are at their peak this time of year so the flavor is outstanding.
Rich and I made 4 cocktails featuring them that will be on here in the coming weeks (one being a twist on his signature cocktail!), so definitely check back. If you start the vinegars now, you’ll be able to enjoy a cocktail next week (you have to let the vinegars sit for awhile), just saying.
PS – you can get the jars we used to store them in here!
- 1 whole pineapple, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup white vinegar, plus more to top off the jars
- 1/4-1/2 cup sugar, depending upon your desired sweetness
- 6 peaches, diced into 1 inch cubes
- 1/4-1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- White vinegar, to top off the jars
- For the pineapple vinegar, place the diced pineapple in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the vinegar and sugar. Stir and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Place in a large mason jar (you will probably use two jars, so divide the mixture) and cover with more vinegar if needed. Top the jars with cheesecloth and secure with a rubberband. Let sit in a dark place for about a week, stirring it every day or so. After a week, strain off the chunks of pineapple and keep covered, in the fridge.
- For the peach vinegar, coat the peaches in the sugar and store in an airtight container in the fridge for two days to macerate. Add the basil to the peaches and divide into mason jars (again, you will probably need two). Cover the peaches in vinegar. Top the jar(s) with cheesecloth secured by a rubberband and let sit in a dark place for 1 week, again, stirring it every day. After a week, strain off the peaches and basil, and keep covered, in the fridge.
See you back next week with the cocktails!