Blog Sponsors

Email me for current Media kit!

Join the Mailing List
Join the email list

Register here to receive email updates when new posts go up

Get the Books

Purchase from the author Purchase on Amazon

Purchase from the author / Purchase on Amazon

Purchase from the author Purchase on Amazon

Purchase from the author / Purchase on Amazon

First edition book owners, download the new index for free by clicking here.

Recommended Tools and Resources
Search the Site
Stay Connected

Receive email updates when new posts go up
Contact Kate

« A Year of Pies Book Giveaway | Main | Shuffle and shake, big news for July »

Fermented peach vinegar tonic

When I hopped on board Food in Jars’ DIY Drink Week, I immediatly thought about vinegar. I’ve been on a home-fermented fruit vinegar tear lately, thanks to summer preserving scraps. When the peaches peaked a few weeks back, I ordered a box for teaching a pickled peach and peach jam workshop. We peeled and pitted peach after peach, and thanks to my inner depression-era granny, scraps and pits were duly saved. (I’d not make the vinegar with the pits, use those for the liqueur linked above!)

I’m bringing up the tail for Drink Week with a break from my friends’ delicious boozy summer fun. This is a fermented tonic, good for your belly. Good also for marinades, salad dressings, a fridge pickle or anywhere else you’d splash some vinegar.

This recipe is based on the instruction and ratio for fruit scrap vinegar from Sandor Katz in his books Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation.

Fermented Peach Vinegar

1. Place peach peels and/or scraps from soft or bruised areas in a wide-based glass, ceramic bowl or food-grade plastic container. Avoid metal bowls or containers.

2. Dissolve 1/4 cup sugar in 1 quart water, pour over the scraps and repeat that ratio/process as many times as needed to give you one part scraps to two parts liquid. You can use honey here, but it will take longer for the fermentation to get started. The goal is to create a peach alcohol, which will happen when the yeasts on the fruit eat the sugar. The alcohol is then converted to acetic acid in the second round of fermentation. In the end of the process, you’re not really drinking/eating the sugar at all.

Cover the bowl with cheesecloth or a thin dishcloth. Stir the scraps daily to allow for the bubbling that will occur as the yeasts eat the sugar and to prevent surface mold from growing.

3. After one week, strain the scraps from the peach juice and pour the liquid back into the same bowl (you can wash it in between). Add a splash of a raw vinegar, like Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar to help get the acetobacter started (if you don’t have any on hand, then omit it entirely). Cover again and let sit for another two weeks—stirring every few days at first and then swirling the bowl gently as the ‘mother’ forms on the surface of the liquid.

Layers of the ‘mother’ sinking after sitting on the surface for about a week

The vinegar is finished when it smells and tastes like vinegar, around the end of the two-weeks.

4.Pour the vinegar (and ‘mother’) into a large jar and cap tightly. Store at room temperature, where it will keep indefinitely. The vinegar will age nicely and develop a more complex flavor. I drop the mother from various flavored vinegars right into new batches, which helps things get going faster and smoother (though it’s not necessary, since the mother forms itself and reproduces herself anyway).

The ‘mother’ about to slide into the jar for shelf storage

To make the tonic beverage

Place in an 8-oz glass:

2 Tbs peach vinegar

1/2 tsp agave (or maple syrup or any preferred sweetener),

and fill the rest of the way with cold club soda.

Read about the benefits of raw, fermented vinegar here, sip your tonic and feel good about yourself!

Reader Comments (36)

I love this idea! I will have to give it a try!

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

This sounds wonderful! Would this same method work for other fruits, or should I research more about the specific fruit I'd like to try? I was gifted an incredible bottle of banana rosemary vinegar once and would love to try and recreate my own homemade version. Think it could work with this method?

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlejandra

Kate, thus far I've shied away from vinegar making, but I LOVE the thrift of this recipe. Totally rewarding, something-from-nothing technique and I'm a huge fan of vinegary drinks. Definitely adding this to my to-make list.

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterautumn

Alejandra, this method does work with other fruits, as I've made all sorts of different flavored vinegars with much success! Maybe do it in a smaller batch, just in case :)

Let us know how your experiment goes!

August 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterKate

This is fantastic Kate, given how many peach pits and scraps I had this year. I look forward to giving it a go!

August 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

I started a batch yesterday after making peach jam and canned peaches in syrup. I was wondering about the cider vinegar addition. Would regular store brand cider vinegar work, or does it need to be specifically labeled as raw?

August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara

I had 4 peaches that were not too great so I mashed them up with my potato masher and am fermenting them now. Will post updates as it progresses. I may just add some kombucha or even a piece of the SCOBY instead of the raw cider vinegar. According to Katz, vinegar and kombucha are probably the same thing. Thanks for taking the plunge with this!

September 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOndrayah

When making the liquor with the pits, do you mean to extract the soft inside "fruit" from within the hard pit and lightly crush that, or to just crack the hard pit?

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElsabeth

Hi Elsabeth, I meant to crack the hard pit, to free up access to that inner 'fruit'. Thanks for your question!

September 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterKate

I've just finished up pineapple vinegar withthe help of Diana Kennedy's Cuisines of Mexico. It has not quit bubbling,though. So I'm just to let it sit and wait? I plan to make a shrub with some of it. And I did use a bit of it with olive oil on wild greens salad.. Very delicate and probably a good thing for those delicate wild plants.

I have a batch of blackberry vinegar from last summer which has a very thick mother. Seems like I should just let it sit, if I understand what you're doing.

Thanks for the help.

April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaryAlice

Ok so this post answers my question re using the mother of different fruit vinegars. However if i give these vinegars as gifts the mother doesn't look very appetising can i bottle without the mother? and in that case will the vinegar still have an indefinate shelf life?

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarina

Yes, Carina, bottling without the mother is perfectly fine and will still provide an indefinite shelf-life!

May 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterKate

what Other Vinegars Would Work? RiceVinegar? White BalsamicVinegar?

July 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

Hi Thomas,
You could certainly infuse other vinegars with peaches instead of fermenting your own peach vinegar, and in that case any of those would work. Balsamic might be a bit intense on its own, but might make a nice compliment to another infusion, or added to a peach simple syrup.

July 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterKate

Hi there, I made this fermented with chopped up peaches and found that it lacked in flavour, I'm assuming this is b/c a lot of the peachiness is in the skin. So I was wondering if I could infuse the original batch with peach skin? Actually I think I may, lol. I'll comment again with the results in case anyone else did the same.

I think your blog is awesome! And the recipe worked like a charm (other than my mistake).

August 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermelanie

Yes Melanie, you can certainly infuse with the skins and that's in fact how I make mine. Skins are usually my remainders from other projects so that's the majority of my infusion power! Glad you figured it out, thanks for the note!

August 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterKate

I started out to make peach wine but didnt pay attention to it for a week and it turned to vinegar...I racked it and it is setteling . but I think it still has alcohol in is very strong vinegar...what do I do to mellow it out ?

September 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjune..junebugcaratan

June, let it keep fermenting with exposure to air and give it a swirl a every few days. The acetobacter will eat the ethanol and mellow it out. It could take up to 3 weeks just sitting out depending on the ambient temperature where it's fermenting.

September 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterKate

About a week and a half in to making peach vinegar. Already going from yeast and slightly fermented to tart and vinegar aromas. Excited for the end result. Heading out in a few minutes to pick blackberries for a batch of preserves and a batch blackberry vinegar.

Thanks for posting such a great article!

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJT Barnhart

My daughter and I saw your demo at the Maker's Faire and are on our first attempt making strawberry vinegar. So far so good; the mother is almost covered the bowl at this point. I was considering giving out small bottles of various flavors for Christmas and I was wondering how that would work with the mother. Instructions say to pour it into the finished jar. So if I split it up should I split up the mother?

July 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

When I gift my vinegars I usually just gift without the mother. You can tear off pieces if you'd like though or save her in a jar with just enough vinegar to cover her and use her on your next batch. It will store like that just like vinegar, indefinitely! Glad to hear your progress.

July 23, 2014 | Registered CommenterKate

I forgot about a container of 3 week-old peaches- pitted halved & skinned - sugared & stored in garage fridge. I intended to make into preserves, & didn't get to the them. I hate to dump, can I make a fermented compote? Any recommendations appreciated!

September 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

Yes, Debbie. These would be perfect for peach vinegar. Just cut off any pieces that molded and use the rest!

September 22, 2014 | Registered CommenterKate

My homemade raw acv turned out great! Thanks for easy instructions. My only problem is I don't have a mother. It tastes and smells like acv but no mother on top. Any ideas?

January 26, 2015 | Unregistered Commentershawn

Hey Shawn, I wouldn't worry about not having a mother. It's not necessary for future batches and as long as the current batch smells and tastes like vinegar, you're all set! I've had batches where the mother appeared to be sediment that eventually settled on the bottom. Thanks for the note and for checking back in!

January 26, 2015 | Registered CommenterKate

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>