Ok, I know I'm not the first person to say this - but I've fallen in love with shrubs.
I was a bit slow to catch on. When friends started raving about drinking fruit vinegars, I'll admit, I was doubtful. Because you know, I clean with vinegar. Drinking it seems a bit strange, right?
Let me be the first to admit that I was wrong. Shrubs are the singular most delicious thing to happen to my face in a long time. It's like drinking summer. The taste is fruity and dry, and just a tiny bit tart, and so good.
Shrubs might be the newest internet stars, but they're hardly new players. They have a long history in Europe, waaay back before summer fruits were available year 'round, before refrigerators, when people were doing everything they could to preserve the tastes of summer for the long winter ahead.
There seem to be an endless variation of shrub recipes, using any number of fruit, vinegar, and spice combinations. Our favorite so far is a strawberry balsamic vinegar shrub, which is super easy to make and pretty much caused a revolution in my mouth. Really, its that good.
2 cups strawberries (I think we caught the very last Farmers Market strawberries. hurry!)
2 cups sugar
1 cup apple cider vinager
1 cup balsamic vinager
1. Remove the stems from the strawberries and cut them in quarters.
2. Combine the strawberries and sugar, and mash them together with a potato masher to release some of the juice from the strawberries.
3. Store the mixture in the fridge overnight.
4. Add the vinegars, and give it a stir. Leave this mixture in a sealed mason jar on your counter for a few days.
5. Strain out the fruit, and voila! Shrub.
6. Combine the shrub syrup with soda water (vodka is nice too) to taste. Serve over ice.
(I would guess that I like a 5:1 ratio of shrub to soda water, personally - but play with it and see what you like.)