Hanging out with Lee & Sachi in Seattle, we dove into the world of shrubs:
In any case, the sugar, acid, and optional alcohol preserve the fruit juice, and in fact that was one original purpose of the shrub. Prior to the invention of refrigeration, a shrub syrup was a means of preserving fruit long past its picking. Shrubs were popular in Colonial America, mixed with cool water to provide a pick-me-up on hot summer days.I ordered one at The Walrus and the Carpenter, a pretty fantastic oyster bar in Ballard where we had dinner.
A proper shrub has a flavor that’s both tart and sweet, so it stimulates the appetite while quenching thirst.
This got me thinking about drinking vinegars, which is somewhat a name for the syrup + vinegar that you make shrubs from. We had some in Vancouver at The Union which was fantastic.
So, Lee and I concocted a shrub syrup from 2 oranges simmered in simple syrup and then added some sherry vinegar.
Lee made up a drink with Averna in it and some soda. It was pretty delicious, especially when we kept amping up the amount of sherry vinegar.
Yep, I’m a fan. And to think, it’s supposedly a summer drink.
Update July 5, 2020: I’ve gone on to make many more shrubs / drinking vinegars. Browse the AllTheBest.Recipes shrub tag »