Refreshing and Versatile Summer Shrubs

Shrub: a fruit, herb and/or spice-infused syrup preserved with vinegar, sometimes referred to as a “drinking vinegar.” Commonly used in drinks, salad dressings or other additions.

I was craving a fresh shrub soda the other day, and oh my goodness I love an icy shrub on a hot summer day! Mixed with club soda and infused with fresh herbs, I am instantly refreshed and ready to tackle (most) anything the day holds.

Interestingly, drinking vinegars date back to ancient times, and Colonial sailors employed its concentrated dose of Vitamin C and antibacterial properties to prevent sickness while onboard. Derived from the Arabic word sharab, shrub concoctions have stood the test of time–and with good reason!

Surprisingly versatile, most anything can be made into a shrub: cranberries, apples, basil,
turmeric, grapefruit, rhubarb–the possibilities are truly endless. Use shrubs in cold drinks, salad dressings or glazes this summer, and you might just find yourself creating new combinations of flavors with tasty health benefits on the side. Below are 3 shrub recipes to get you started…

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Refreshing and Versatile Summer Shrubs
(Cold process)
SERVINGS
3cups (serving size, 2 oz)
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cups (serving size, 2 oz)
COOK TIME
PREP TIME
15minutes
READY IN
15 minutes + 2 days

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Prep ingredients: chop fruit, slice roots, roughly chop or muddle herbs
  2. Combine shrub ingredients in a non-reactive bowl such as glass or stainless steel.
  3. Add sugar and stir to thoroughly combine. Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and leave at room temperature, stirring occasionally 2-7 days. The longer the ingredients are combined, the more concentrated the flavor will be.
  5. Strain remaining solids and add vinegar. Stir to combine.
  6. To serve: Pour 2 ounces of shrub into the bottom of a glass. Layer with ice and 6 ounces of club soda or unflavored seltzer water. Add fresh mint, basil or herb of your choice. Stir to combine and enjoy!

Blueberry, Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad

“​​When one has tasted watermelon, he knows what the Angels eat.” —Mark Twain

​Have you ever wondered how to pick that perfect watermelon? Well, I have! Faced with a bin of green striped beauties, I never quite​ know​ where to start. ​L​et me share some tips with you that I recently discovered​, and then​ go and​make this delicious ​and refreshing ​Watermelon, ​Mint, ​Blueberry and Feta Salad​ — a great side dish for a hot summer day.

1. When viewing watermelons, the first thing that sticks out are those weird white spots. However, these spots​,​ called field spots​, are quite natural. The field spot is the area where the watermelon rested on the ground. While every watermelon has a field spot, the best watermelons have creamy-yellow or even orange-yellow spots. Go for the gold.

2. The webbing of a watermelon indicates the amount of times that bees touched the flower. The more pollination, the sweeter the watermelon is.

3. Watermelons have genders. The “girl” watermelons are more round and stout​ — these​are the sweeter ones. The male are oblong and tend to be more watery.

4. The ​best watermelons are average-sized. Don’t go for too small or too big, but just right.

5. The tail of a watermelon indicates its ripeness. Go for the watermelons that have dried tails for the best taste.​

​6. ​Tap the underbelly of the watermelon. A ripe one will have a deep hollow sound. Under-ripe or over-ripe melons will sound dull.​

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Blueberry, Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad
SERVINGS
8servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
PREP TIME
20mins
READY IN
20mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and diced red onion.
  2. Add the diced watermelon, blueberries, mint and feta cheese to bowl. Gently toss to coat.​ Serve immediately.