Simply put, a shrub is a drinking vinegar that includes vinegar, fruit and sugar. Once the drinking vinegar is created you can add bubbly water or spice it up a bit by adding alcohol and maybe even some bitters. There are so many different ways to make shrubs. Some recipes invite you to heat all of the ingredients before straining and using. Others require no cooking at all. I prefer the later. I also love to use Braggs apple cider vinegar due to it’s raw, unfiltered quality. I figure I might as well get extra health benefits from the drinking vinegar I create and indulge in. Below is one of my favorite fall/wintertime shrub drinks. If you don't have orange blossoms on hand just sub more oranges.
1 cup orange blossoms
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
1. In a large jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the orange blossom, flesh of one orange (peel and pith removed) and sugar. Use the back of a wooden spoon or a muddler to smash the fruit a bit.
2. Cover and refrigerate.
3. After about a week strain out the fruit with a mesh sieve. Add the vinegar and taste the mixture. If it’s to your liking, that's it. It should taste fruity with a mellow vinegar flavor. Pour the syrup into a clear jar.
Your shrub should keep well, covered in the fridge, for three weeks.
To make a non-alcoholic cocktail just add 1 ½ parts shrub mixture to 2 parts tonic water, aka bubbly water (more or less tonic water can be added given your taste preference. If you want a little alcohol in your cocktail add one part shrub, 1 ½ parts alcohol of choice and one part tonic water.
Video by Nicole Halabisky