Shrub… trust me!
As you know, I love kombucha. I love making it, fermenting the tea, creating interesting fruit combinations and filling my body with the delicious health tonic. But I have recently found something better…my newest crave is drinking shrub. It is acidic, a punch in the gut and makes me and my digestive system feel amazing.
What is Shrub?
I am not talking about the bush you plant in front of your house. No matter how much I love a well-placed shrub, I love a drinking shrub better. A shrub is a sweetened vinegar-based syrup also known as ‘drinking vinegars.’ It is used and has been used for centuries—I am talking all the way back to Babylon—as a way to preserve fruit.
Since colonial times it has been used in cocktail drinks. And today I use it as a two-shot energy booster. Shrubs are fruit, vinegar, and sugar. That’s it! They are super easy to make (even more easy than kombucha and are sooooo good for you) also did I mention they are delicious?
Vinegar has been long associated with restoration and healing. With all the health tonics, expensive kombuchas and harsh apple cider vinegar out there on the Whole Foods shelves, I found the best way to get the good stuff out of vinegar is through shrubs.
Okay, how do I make it? Good question. I said this was three ingredient, and I wasn’t lying. This is all you need:
1 cup of fruit. Any fruit. Mix your fruit, it doesn’t just have to be just one thing.
1 cup of cane sugar.
1 cup of vinegar (any kind, I like apple cider, but I found balsamic, rice and even pomegranate is great).
So easy right? Just find these things in your kitchen now and let’s get making.
How To Make a Shrub
1. Cut one cup of fruit and put in a bowl with your one cup of sugar. Mix it with a fork, get that stuff happy. Becuase everyone knows fruit loves sugar.
2. This is the hard part. You wait. Place it in the refrigerator for 3 hours to 3 days. The longest I have done it is 5 days and the shortest is 2 hours. But 3 days is my perfect number. The longer you wait, the more syrup you will have. So cover it and let it ferment baby!
3. Now your fruit sugars should look like this (this is my shrub of half strawberry half orange). But don’t worry the strawberry alone looks just as juicy!
4. Separate the syrup from the fruit chunks.
5. There will also be sugar, scoop that into the second bowl of syrup.
6. Okay now here is the fun part, mush that fruit with a fork—get all the juice possible into the new bowl, then you can discard the fruit (or fun fact, I use it to flavor my kombucha.) So that is your syrup.
7. Now it’s time for the final ingredient…your vinegar of choice! Add in 1 cup and stir. I use a fork to really get that sugar dissolved in the vinegar.
8. Pour that bad boy into a glass container. Any container, buy a new one from HomeGoods or use an old one you had forever, or even one in an old apple cider vinegar bottle. Just make sure it is glass because no one wants to die from plastic.
Enjoy your shrub! I usually wait another day for the vinegar to absorb the extra sugar. Store it in the fridge. Remeber this will be acidic! I take two tablespoons a day…and a little more if I have digestion troubles. That is it! If you are using it for a cocktail check with your cocktail recipe.
Got any questions? Any recipes? Anything you want to add? Let me know. I am in the process of creating recipes with these ingredients below, so stay tuned for shrubs that are more than 3 ingredients but taste oh so delicious.