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…
SERVINGS3cups (serving size, 2 oz)
CHANGE SERVING SIZEcups (serving size, 2 oz)
READY IN15 minutes + 2 days
- Watermelon Basil Shrub
- 2 cups watermelon cubed
- 1 cup fresh basil roughly chopped
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- Rhubarb Shrub
- 2 cups fresh rhubarb chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup vinegar
- Ginger Turmeric Pineapple Shrub
- 2 cups pineapple
- 1 cup fresh ginger sliced
- 1/2 cup tumeric root or 1 tsp ground tumeric
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves chopped
- 2 white sugar
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- Prep ingredients: chop fruit, slice roots, roughly chop or muddle herbs
- Combine shrub ingredients in a non-reactive bowl such as glass or stainless steel.
- Add sugar and stir to thoroughly combine. Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight.
- 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.
- Strain remaining solids and add vinegar. Stir to combine.
- 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!