If you’re a cocktail connoisseur, chances are you’ve experienced shrub: a fruity, acidic concentrated syrup made from vinegar and fruit or vegetable juice. If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat! The acidic tang of vinegar combined with a healthy dose of sweetness makes these unique mixers amazingly refreshing – no alcohol needed. Use this guide to making your own shrub concoctions and try them mixed with a little cold soda water for the ultimate summer refresher.
Gather Your Ingredients
Choose a vinegar that will complement the flavor of whatever fruit you’re using. Options include apple cider, champagne, cane sugar vinegar, or rice vinegar. White wine or distilled vinegar would add a sharp flavor that might not be ideal, while a splash of balsamic can add delicious richness to cherries or strawberries. Any kind of sugar will do, but white sugar will really let the fruit flavors shine through. Start with 2 pounds of fruit, 2 cups of vinegar, and 2 cups of sugar, then adjust as needed.
Prepare Your Flavors
Berries are an ideal choice, but pitted and chopped plums, peaches, and apricots also work. Ginger is good on its own or combined, perhaps with lime juice and zest for a delicious twist on the Moscow Mule. If you’re using fresh ginger, you will want to begin by peeling it (a teaspoon works great for this), and then chopping it up into small pieces using your knife or food processor.
Hurry Up & Wait
Once your main ingredient is prepared, mix in your sugar, cover, and let sit overnight in the fridge. The next day, add your vinegar, mix, and let the mixture sit a few more days for the flavors to combine and develop, before straining and putting it in a glass container to store. Enjoy!