We'll continue on with the Love of Carbonation series – read part one here - with shrubs (fruit flavored vinegars). Now I'll admit, I've only made a shrub twice, one cooked and one cold processed. The cold processed recipe is a simple 1:1 ratio, so I'm confident sharing it here.
What are shrubs?
They've been around for centuries. From Wikipedia:
The American version of the shrub has its origins in 17th century England where vinegar was used as an alternative to citrus juices in the preservation of berries and other fruits for the off-season. Fruit preserves made in this fashion were themselves known as shrubs and the practice carried over to colonial America. By the 19th century, typical American recipes for shrubs used vinegar poured over fruit — traditionally berries — which was left to infuse anywhere from overnight up to several days; afterward the fruit would be strained out and the remaining liquid would be mixed with a sweetener such as sugar or honey and then reduced to make a syrup. The sweet-and-sour syrup could be mixed with either water or soda water and served as a soft drink, or it could be used as a mixer in alcoholic cocktails. Shrubs eventually fell out of popularity with the advent of home refrigeration.
This cold processed version of the same strawberry flavor is even simpler. The ingredients are strawberries, organic cane sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Use any amount you want, as long as it's a 1:1 ratio (the same amount of each ingredient – I used a cup of each). First, half or quarter your clean strawberries. Place them in a bowl and muddle or mash them just a little to get the juices running. Mix in the organic cane sugar. Cover bowl as is and place in refrigerator. I'm space poor, so I transferred the mixture to a pint mason jar. Keep in mind, you want to be able to stir this around every so often over a 48 hour period. So do what's convenient.
After a couple of days, strain the mixture to remove the strawberries. If you were using a bowl, now is the time to transfer to a container you can pick up and shake. Be sure to mash the strawberries more, if necessary, to get all the juice out. Also, scrape any sugar left behind into the container with the juicy syrup. (Eat the strawberries!)
Mix in the apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg). Shake to dissolve sugar. Put back into the refrigerator and let sit, shaking every so often to further dissolve the sugar. All should be dissolved, and the shrub ready to use, in about a week.
You'll end up with a sweet and sour concoction to add to your beverages. Mix two to three tablespoons per 16 oz. seltzer water. (I use a Soda Stream to carbonate water.) How much flavored vinegar you add is really to personal taste.
Part three tomorrow!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click a link and buy something. This helps pay for the RV, supports our mountain homestead dream of owning land, as well as my blogging activities, and makes the dogs happy. Hopefully, the purchase benefits you, too! The price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! Thanks for reading, following, and supporting Stephlin's Mountain.
From my mountaintop to yours,