Homemade Beet Shrub

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This beet shrub has an earthy, savory character. Distilled white vinegar is too sharp in flavor for most shrubs, but Michael Dietsch adds it to this recipe to evoke the familiar flavor of pickled beets. To serve, mix with chilled seltzer water to taste.

5 beets, cut into small chunks
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. kosher salt
Tools: blender, rubber spatula, mesh strainer

Add the beets and both vinegars to a blender and purée. Using a rubber spatula, press the purée through a mesh strainer into a medium bowl; you should have 2 to 3 cups of liquid. Add the beet-vinegar liquid, sugar, peppercorns and salt to a nonreactive container; cover and let steep for 1 day at room temperature. Taste for seasoning; if you prefer the taste to be more peppery, let the mixture steep for another day. Strain through a mesh strainer and bottle; store in the refrigerator (the flavor will fully develop after a week), and use within 2 months.

Adapted from Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times, by Michael Dietsch