One of the things I like about making a shrub is that it is so versatile that it can be made from almost any fruit. It's also a great way to use up that blemished fruit that is maybe on its way out. When traveling, be sure to stop by local produce stands and see what you can procure to create your own flavors. I made this one with fresh Oregon strawberries because they are so sweet and the their color is brilliant. It is a way to preserve and save the best of summer, to enjoy during those long grey winter months. It makes a beautiful and delicious gift as well!
Fresh Strawberry Shrub
Prep time: 10 minutes plus a day to rest
Cooking Time: none
4 cups washed, hulled, sliced strawberries (overripe or blemished fruit is okay)
4 cups sugar
3 to 4 cups of Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar
1 bottle of Seltzer water or create bubbly water with an eco-friendly Soda Stream
Place berries in a non-reactive bowl or dish and toss with sugar. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours and up to 48 hours. Using a fine mesh strainer or a cheese cloth lined colander, strain the sugar-juice off of the berries into a clean bowl. Press the berries to extract as much as possible. There may be some undissolved sugar in the berries. Add all of this to the sugar-juice as it will eventually dissolve. Discard the berries. (Or save and use as garnishes in the drinks you create.) Add 3 cups of vinegar to the sugar-juice and stir well. You now have shrub! Taste for tartness. It should be both sweet and tart. You can make a test drink with 2 Tbls. of shrub and 8 ounces of seltzer water. Stir and see if you like the taste. If you would like a bit more sourness, add additional vinegar. Store shrub in a sterilized glass jar or bottle in the refrigerator. You can use it to make a refreshing non-alcoholic drink by combining it with bubbly water. Add it to your favorite cocktail, or use it to create your own delicious signature cocktail recipe. It is also delicious drizzled on fruit salads or as an ice cream topping.
Encores: Shrub can also be made with other berries or peeled and sliced stone fruit. It is a great way to preserve the taste of summer and a perfect way to use overripe and blemished fruit.