Make Fresh Summer Drinks with Shrubs

comments (12) July 25th, 2016

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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Shrubs are an old-fashioned method of preserving the fresh fruits and berries of summer. Click To Enlarge

Shrubs are an old-fashioned method of preserving the fresh fruits and berries of summer. 

Photo: Jodi Torpey

When I tasted a sample of a "shrub" at a country fair, it was love at first sip. The beverage tasted like sweet fruit juice with a tart twist. After another sweet-and-sour sip, I wanted to try making a shrub at home.

In Colonial-days shrubs helped extend the fresh-fruit season. Instead of making jam or jelly, colonists preserved some of their fresh fruits with honey or sugar and mixed them with vinegar. Then they spiked their shrubs with brandy or rum. 

Shrubs are making a comeback and people have rediscovered them as a base for making fancy cocktails. They can also be enjoyed as a refreshing nonalcoholic beverage served over ice or with sparkling water.

I decided to try making a strawberry shrub, but I'm sure just about any fresh fruits or berries would work just as well. Here's how I mixed up 2 ½ pints of a strawberry shrub:

  • Wash and stem one pound of organic strawberries.
  • Chop strawberries and place in a glass bowl.
  • Mix in 1 cup of sugar until dissolved.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Strain strawberry mixture, pressing the pulp to remove all the juice. (Save the sweetened pulp to use in muffins or as a topping for waffles.)
  • Mix in 1 cup white wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. (If you'd like a milder version, omit the apple cider vinegar. It adds a tarter and fruiter flavor to the shrub.)
  • Pour shrub mixture into clean glass jars with lids and keep refrigerated.

The strawberry shrub is delicious as-is served over ice, but it can be mixed with water, soda water or seltzer for a surprisingly different drink. Add champagne or other favorite alcoholic beverage to mix up some special cocktails. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and then enjoy them outside in your cocktail hour garden

posted in: fruit, Preserving (Canning, Drying, Freezing)

Comments (12)

ajayind writes: very nice
Posted: 2:03 am on October 1st
Dallinlarsen4 writes: cool
Posted: 3:16 am on September 30th
ammyclark writes: Really It's Cool
Posted: 12:35 pm on September 28th
Dallin_larsen1 writes: nice juice
Posted: 2:55 am on September 23rd
Dallin_larsen1 writes: nice juice
Posted: 2:55 am on September 23rd
Johnychamp writes: great
Posted: 6:18 am on September 17th
DallinLarsen writes: Nice
Posted: 2:09 am on September 15th
matthewtweedie writes: Fabulous
Posted: 12:55 am on August 26th
Carpetshome writes: Nice!
Posted: 10:19 am on August 25th
BruceWilliam writes: Seems really good, I'll give it a try
Posted: 9:40 am on August 10th
bradlewilliams writes: Sweet! The feel, moment and light is perfectly done!
Posted: 11:29 am on August 2nd
MaryScarborough98 writes: Wow, this seems like a great recipe. I was always buying expensive drinks and now I can do it myself. Thanks :)
Posted: 10:55 am on July 30th
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