A few weeks ago, I shared my basic recipe for shrubs in our email newsletter. It is pretty simple really. I always keep a ratio of one pound of fruit to two cups of sugar and two cups of apple cider vinegar. However, I love to play with different herbs and spices that compliment the fruit in unique ways.
If I have completely lost you with the word shrub, just know that I am not sharing about a hedge for your landscaping. No, this is a very old-fashioned way to preserve fresh fruit for a refreshing beverage that has been practiced since the 17th century…first in England and then in America. The concept is pretty darn basic: berries tend to spoil quickly, so vinegar is a wonderful way to slow that process down. Mix in a little sugar, and you have an brightly flavored syrup for flavoring sparkling water or cocktails.
You can read up on my strawberry & basil shrub, but for this one, I wanted to play with raspberries. Combining heaps of fresh mint and a generous sprinkle of peppercorns, I covered my bowl and waited for the flavors to meld. Cover your bowl and let it sit at room temperature for a gentle fermentation.
After it has rested overnight, add in two cups of apple cider vinegar and then pop your shrub into the fridge for storage. You can grab out your shrub syrup as needed.
For a super refreshing nonalcoholic beverage that puts soda pop to shame, just top off 1-2 tablespoons of your glorious shrub with some ice and S. Pellegrino sparkling water. YUM!
I love the ombre!
If you want to kick it up a notch, grab a cocktail shaker and some vodka!
Add two tablespoons of shrub and one shot of vodka for every cocktail you are making.
Then, shake it over ice, pour it out and top it with sparkling water.
Fun, fresh, and ever so celebratory!
- FOR THE SHRUB
- 1 lb fresh raspberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups mint leaves
- 2 tbsps whole peppercorns
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar (Like Bragg's Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar)
- FOR THE COCKTAIL
- 8 Tbsp shrub mix
- 4 oz vodka of your choice
- S. Pellegrino sparkling water
Crush the raspberries and mint with the sugar in a large glass bowl. Add the peppercorns before covering the bowl and letting it sit at room temperature overnight.
After 12 hours, remove the cover and mix in the two cups of apple cider vinegar. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use the shrub. You can use a mesh colander to strain the seeds, peppercorns and mint leaves at this time (or let them marinate in the fridge for even more of a flavor note).
When it is time to serve. Mix 2 tablespoons into a glass, then top with 1 oz of vodka. Fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water. You can omit the vodka completely for a super refreshing nonalcoholic beverage! A votre sante!