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We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other. - E.H.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Spiced Apple Shrub

Remember when I fell in love with shrubs? It was a beautiful time, but unfortunately it was too little, too late. I managed to get to the farmers market in time for some of the last strawberries of the season, but now I've finished all of the strawberry-balsamic shrub and the time for strawberries is long past.

This means it's time to get creative, my friends. Bring on the fall shrubs! This spiced apple shrub was a successful experiment - this drink manages to keep all of that lively, refreshing taste I love about shrubs, but the flavour is all homey fall apple pie.

Different apple varieties have a range of different 'apple' flavours, ranging in sweetness and acidity. When making this shrub, I used three different apple varieties as my fruit base, a Macoun, an Empire, and a random wild apple we had kicking around. My idea was to introduce a range of apple flavours into the shrub, and hopefully get a well rounded end product.

You'll need:
3 apples, of different varieties (you will use half of each apple - save the rest for a snack!)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar  (or substitute)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole allspice berries
1 tsp mace
1 tsp nutmeg

1. Roughly cut the apples into small chunks, leaving out the skins if the apples aren't organic (apples are some of the most highly sprayed fruits out there, and who knows how much you can really wash off..)
2. Combine the apples, spices and sugar. Mash to release the apples juices, until the sugar and apple are moist and well mixed.

3. Leave this mixture in your fridge overnight to settle.The next day (or whenever you get around to it), add the vinegar. Leave this mixture out of the fridge in a sealed jar for a week.
4. Strain out the apples and whole spices. Mix at a ratio of 4 or 5:1 with sparkling water for a cooler, or add straight to vodka for an awesome a fall cocktail!

As much as I love this spiced apple shrub, next summer I swear I will make a whole barrel of strawberry balsamic shrub. I need enough to last me through to spring.


  1. I made a bunch of raspberry shrub this summer. Good to know you can do this with apples too! Thanks!

  2. YOU ARE A LIFESAVER. I've been whining on Twitter looking for "fall" shrubs, since I got in on the shrub-making too late this season! THANK YOU!

  3. I have another one I will be sampling today - if its any good, I promise to post it!