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!
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!
- Wash and remove stems and other bits from the fruit.
- Put one part fruit by weight (say 400 grams as an example) into a wide mouthed glass jar.
- Put three quarter parts sugar (300 grams) into the jar.
- Use a muddler to crush up the fruit and mix it well with the sugar.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.