Tuesday, August 4, 2020

"Any Fruit" Shrub - for a refreshing summer drink.

I have been making shrubs for about one year now.  I read about them online and just had to try.  They are the most refreshing drink you could  have, especially in the summer,  when all the fresh fruit are in season.

So, what is a shrub anyway?  It's a fruit-based syrup, usually mixed with vinegar, to create a delicious, tangy flavouring for drinks.  I usually mix it with sparkling water but have seen some amazing cocktails using shrubs.

A little history on shrubs- in seventeenth-century Britain, the word referred to a fruit liqueur served with rum or brandy.  The version served in southern colonial America is closest to today's version, thanks to the addition of vinegar.

Shrubs are experiencing somewhat of a resurgence today, thanks to an increased interest in preservation and the swathes of mixologists looking to create unique and delicious cocktails in bars.

The recipe is pretty basic and can be used with most fruit.  I prefer the cold method of making shrubs and it is probably the most authentic.  Keep in mind that if you find the vinegar taste "too much", just let it mellow a few more days and it will balance itself.  Check out the Food52.com website for more shrub ideas.  Enjoy!


1 lb       cut up fruit- choose any fruit: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, citrus,....
2 cups   sugar- I have used regular or organic sugar
2 cups   vinegar- choose from apple cider vinegar, white or red wine vinegar, a splash of balsamic vinegar added to the wine vinegars...


Wash the fruit and place in a large jar.  Add the sugar and gently stir into the fruit.  Set the jar aside for  two days.  Give a little stir each day.

By day three, it should start to look very juicy. Strain the mixture into a measuring cup, discard the fruit, then slowly combine the syrup with approximately an equal amount of your choice of vinegar.(cider vinegar is a good place to start).  Place this mixture in the fridge for a few days to mellow out the flavours.   That's it! Taste and adjust the tang of the vinegar if needed.  I just let it mellow a few days longer.

Time to mix your drink!

Fill a tall glass with ice,  pour in a splash of shrub, and top it off with sparkling water, stirring a bit to incorporate the shrub. Or add a shot of booze: gin or whiskey or vodka, or my favourite- Siempre Tequila!  Or, add a splash of shrub to sparkling wine or champagne instead.

This will keep in the fridge for at least a couple of months.  Enjoy!

Let me know about your shrub combinations 😁

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