This recipe is featured in Foraging: It's Not Just a Fad
Shrubs are a way of preserving fruit juices via sugar and vinegar, to make refreshing beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Shrubs were very popular centuries ago, and are now regaining some of that lost popularity because they are very versatile and surprisingly tasty (“surprisingly” because most of us are unused to drinking vinegar). No self-respecting forager who is also a mixologist would be without a shrub or two in their pantry.
- Servings Makes approximately 355 ml (1 1/2 cups)*
- 220 grams (8 ounces) fresh or frozen blackberries
- 200 grams (8 ounces) sugar
- 237 ml to 355 ml (1 to 1½ cups) apple cider vinegar or champagne vinegar
*Metric conversions by The Cook’s Cook
1. Mix together the blackberries and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Stir well and then cover and refrigerate for another 24 hours. By this time the sugar will have drawn most of the liquid out of the blackberries.
2. Strain out the liquid (you can reserve the blackberry solids to make blackberry vinegar). Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of apple cider or champagne vinegar (or best yet, blackberry vinegar, if you happen to have some on hand).
3. Put the mixture into a clean glass jar, cover, and refrigerate for at least a week, longer if you can convince yourself to wait. The flavors in freshly made shrub are too segregated to be enjoyable; the vinegar and sugar jump out at your taste buds, muting the fruit flavor. But with time (three months aging is not too much), the flavors harmonize and you have an ingredient that is truly pleasurable to consume.