A recent trip and talking food and drink with some Romanian ladies, inspired this Eastern European fruit drink known as compote or kompot. Mothers and grandmothers would make this much-loved refreshing fruit drink at home, made with fruit, sugar and water. With lots of fresh peaches in my kitchen, some were grilled and added to a tasty quinoa and chicken salad and the rest used to make this Peach Compote… for drinking. I am sure this fruit drink has less sugar than the overly sweet fruit drinks found at supermarkets.
The fruit compote I am familiar with is the dessert version, where fresh or dried fruit is lightly poached in a small amount of water, fruit juice or alcohol with added sugar and spices. Really, both are very similar and as this peach compote is for drinking, the volume of liquid is greater.
The recipe below is only a basic guide and you could experiment with other fruits and flavourings. Use pears, apples, plums, cherries rhubarb or berries, or try a combination of fruits. Try adding spices and flavourings such as cloves, cinnamon, allspice, star anise, vanilla or citrus peels. Use honey or raw sugar as sweeteners. Depending on the sweetness and type of fruit you use, adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste. If you fancy turning this peach compote into a cocktail, add a little brandy to the chilled drink before serving, a very nice alternative. If you like, serve some of the poached fruit with the drink, which they did in Romania.
Peach Compote Fruit Drink
7 peaches, halved, stoned and quartered
8 tablespoons of sugar
1.5 liters of cold water
Juice of one lemon
1 whole vanilla pod (optional) (after use, rinse and dry, use to make vanilla sugar)
fresh or frozen raspberries, for garnish (optional)
How to make:
Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and on low heat, dissolve the sugar. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the peaches, lemon juice and vanilla pod, simmer very gently for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the peaches are softened but not mushy. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover with a lid and leave to cool. Place the saucepan into the fridge for about 8 hours or overnight to further infuse and intensify the flavour of the fruit drink.
Remove the vanilla pod and pour or strain the contents into a large serving jug. Serve some of the fruit with each drink, if preferred. Serve chilled and garnish each drink with a raspberry, if using.
Note: If you are making this fruit drink with berries, simmer them for about 2 or 3 minutes.