Shrubs are just sweetened fruit flavored vinegars. The acid in vinegar preserves the drink, so shrubs can be kept for months refrigerated.
Fruit: Most fruits work well, the riper, the better. Fruit doesn’t have to be perfect. Remove any bad spots.
Start with a simple one fruit shrub, then experiment with more fruits, spices, etc.
Peel, chop, or crush fruit a bit to hasten infusion.
I’ve made blueberry and strawberry shrubs. Melon, peach, pineapple, citrus and apple are excellent - you get the picture!
Vinegar: Distilled white for clear, sharp flavor or apple cider vinegar for mellow flavor. Rice vinegar works too. How about a splash of balsamic added?
Sugar: I use granulated, but raw, brown or honey works.
Master fruit shrub recipe
Recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc.
2 heaping cups fruit, peeled, chopped or crushed a bit if necessary
2 cups vinegar
1 to 2 cups sugar or to taste
Sterilize glass jar.
Heat vinegar in pan to a simmer. You’ll see little bubbles around the edges. Don’t boil.
Pour vinegar over fruit in jar, leaving a bit of space. Put lid on.
Cool, then place in cool, dark place or refrigerator. I put mine in the refrigerator. Let infuse at least 2 days or as long as you want (a month or more is OK) until desired flavor is reached.
Strain fruit for a sparkling looking shrub syrup, or leave in and puree for a thicker syrup.
Place in pan, add sugar and bring just to a boil. Cool and pour into sterilized container and cap.
Store in refrigerator up to 6 months or more. If shrub bubbles, get slimy, etc. toss it. That rarely happens.
Serve: Mix a few tablespoons syrup into glass of chilled sparkling or regular water. Taste and add more, if desired.
Other ways to use shrubs: Cocktail mixers, salad dressings, over ice cream, etc