Drinking vinegar!  Necessary and perfect for drinks like a Saturn’s Ring – shrubs are also a very refreshing sipper when you pour a couple of tablespoons on ice and top with soda (the girls love these!).  And don’t forget…a shrub is really just a fruit vinegar, so try substituting in your favorite salad dressing…I often just drizzle a bit on it’s own on my salads.  This is all Brock! Tried, tested and happy to share – enjoy!

ShrubsShrubs

One part (by weight) Fruit: Berries are a favorite shrub fruit, though almost any fruit can be used. Pears, pineapple, plums, apples, cucumbers and rhubarb are fruits to try too.

Three quarters part Sugar: White granulated sugar is a good starting point although you can try other types such as turbinado, Demerara and brown sugar for different flavors.

One part Vinegar: It is nice to use something other than white vinegar for the added flavor – apple cider and red wine vinegar are good options. Some fruits such as strawberries also work very well with balsamic.  (One of our favorites is strawberry balsamic!)

Flavorings: Cinnamon sticks, cracked peppercorns, basil, rosemary, thyme, and fennel are a few optional ingredients that you can experiment with.  We’ll update this as we try them ourselves!

Procedure:

  1. Wash and remove stems and other bits from the fruit.
  2. Put one part fruit by weight (say 400 grams as an example) into a wide mouthed glass jar.
  3. Put three quarter parts sugar (300 grams) into the jar.
  4. Use a muddler to crush up the fruit and mix it well with the sugar.
  5. Seal the jar and let the mixture sit in a cool place to macerate for one or two days – in the winter, our kitchen counter under the window works perfectly.
  6. After maceration is complete, add one part vinegar (400 grams) and any other flavoring that you have chosen. Seal and shake the mixture well and then store in a cool place for one week – for us, this is the basement storage room. Shake periodically to ensure that the sugar crystals are completely dissolved.
  7. Strain the contents of the jar through a fine mesh sieve into a glass bowl making sure to press as much liquid as possible from what remains of the fruit.
  8. Pour the liquid into bottles for storage – you can find great bottles at wine-making stores! You will find that the mixture mellows over time.
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