Every Tuesday this summer we’re featuring a new recipe on the blog from one of our Savor the South® cookbooks. Each little cookbook in our Savor the South® cookbook collection is a big celebration of a beloved food or tradition of the American South. From buttermilk to bourbon, pecans to peaches, bacon to catfish, one by one each volume will stock a kitchen shelf with the flavors and culinary wisdom of this popular American regional cuisine. Written by well-known cooks and food lovers, each book brims with personality, the informative and often surprising culinary and natural history of southern foodways, and a treasure of some fifty recipes—from delicious southern classics to sparkling international renditions that open up worlds of taste for cooks everywhere. You’ll want to collect them all.
Today’s recipe is from Debbie Moose’s SouthernHolidays. Moose is an award-winning food writer and author of many cookbooks, includingButtermilk: A Savor the South® Cookbook. Follow her on Twitter @DebbieMoose. The following recipe for Ginger-Peach Soda uses fresh ginger and peaches—a refreshing companion for those warm summer evenings on the porch.
Bring the ginger, cardamom seeds, and 1¼ cups water to a boil in a saucepan. When the mixture boils, cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Let the liquid simmer for about 30 minutes.
Strain the liquid into a saucepan through a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Discard the solids. You should have about 1 cup of liquid. Bring the liquid and the sugar to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. When the liquid is cool, put it in a covered container or squeeze bottle and refrigerate until cold.
Peel the peaches and remove the pits. Purée the flesh in a blender, then strain the juice through a fine-mesh strainer or food mill. You should end up with about 1 cup of juice. Discard the solids and store the juice, covered, in the refrigerator.
To make each drink, stir together 3–4 tablespoons peach juice, depending on how much peach flavor you want, and ¼ cup chilled ginger-cardamom syrup. Fill a tall glass with ice and pour the mixture over the ice, followed by 1 cup club soda. Stir gently with an iced-tea spoon to combine. Garnish with a mint sprig or lime wedge, if desired.
Note: Bottled peach nectar can be substituted for the peach juice, but the flavor will not be as fresh. Add vodka (plain or vanilla) for a sassy cocktail. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.