Last December, when I made the rounds of the local holiday markets that pop up all over the Berkshires before Christmas, Brian bought me a bottle of The Hudson Standard Peach Lavender Shrub. I’d sampled shrubs at such events before, but this was the first time I’d actually purchased a bottle. We spent the months that followed adding spoonfuls of the liquid to seltzer, gin and tonics, martinis, lemonade, and whatever else we could think of. The Peach Lavender Shrub added a lovely flavor and bitterness to our drinks.
Shrubs have been around for hundreds of years, they’re a mix of fruit and vinegar. Generally, shrubs are added to drinks, but they’re also useful for marinades or dressing. There are plenty of shrubs available for purchase, but I knew that once I had access to local fresh fruit, I’d try making one on my own (as with all recipes, I’d already saved several ideas). Earlier this summer, I made my first shrub using strawberries.
I used the instructions from The Kitchn (link below) and felt like the final product turned out well. Basically, regardless of the recipe, you combine the fruit and sugar, then add vinegar. The mixture sits for a few days while the flavors combine, then the shrub is strained and stored in the refrigerator. Since the shrub has so much vinegar in it, it’ll keep for months of drink modifications.
My shrub was definitely not as thick as The Hudson Standard version and I’d use apple cider vinegar instead of white next time. Functionally, however, I’m happy with my first attempt and have plans to keep a jar in the fridge as much as possible. There are so many awesome recipes out there and I’ve already started a batch of Food in Jars Blueberry Ginger Shrub (link below) with the blueberries I picked this week.
Summer is a great time to try new food projects and I highly recommend making a shrub. Try one (or more!) of the recipes below!)
How to Make a Fruit Shrub (The Kitchn)
Summer Shrub Fruit Cocktail (Bon Appetit)
Blueberry Ginger Shrub (Food in Jars)
Raspberry Meyer Lemon Shrub (Food in Jars)
Strawberry Balsamic Shrub (Emeril Lagasse)
Thai Basil Black Raspberry Shrub (Fillmore Container)
Black Cherry Shrub – even more recipes at the end of the post (Fillmore Container)