If you haven't tried a shrub in your cocktail yet, it's time to try something new and slightly unusual tasting - well maybe unusual only if you've been drinking super sugary fruity martinis up to this point. A shrub is a beverage that has had a small amount of vinegar added to it. You can put a large amount in too of course…it all depends on your level of love for vinegar. Some people pour straight vinegar into their beverage to make a shrub, others pour vinegar from a jar that has also housed pickles, beets, or green beans. We like to soak our fruit, vegetable, or herb of choice in vinegar for a few days and then turn the mixture into a simple syrup to add to a cocktail.
We love all these choices but will outline here how to make an apple shrub syrup to combine with any spirit (shrubs love vodka, gin, and bourbon). It's easy to make and adds some zing to your drink in a new and refreshing way.
Step One: Wash your fruit! Hopefully you bought organic since there's no washing off pesticides that were baked into the seeds in non-organic fruit.
Step Two: Choose your vinegar. There are so many vinegars to choose from. We've taken a long time choosing from the amazing selection at Whole Foods or from Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica. You really can't go wrong with your vinegar. Try different vinegars until you find your favorite. For this recipe we used apple cider vinegar but have also used balsamic and it's amazing. PS Apple cider vinegar tastes nada muchacho like apple cider.
Step Three: Chop up your fruit, vegetables, or herbs, and toss them into the vinegar in an air tight container. Then refrigerate it for several days. At least two please. Remember to stir or shake the container when you think of it to keep things evenly coated.
Step Four: Take the shrub out of the container and pour it into a pan. Eyeball how much you have and add the same amount of sugar. Now here's another part that's up to you: adding water. For this recipe we did not but you can if you want or you can add it after it's been cooked. Up to you.
Step Five: After you've cooked the mixer for about 20 minutes, remove it from the heat and either let it cool first or strain it into the container you intend to use. Mash the ingredients into the strainer to get every last drip of your shrub.
Step Six: Refrigerate your shrub and then search our blog every week for the word shrub cocktails for amazing recipes that require a shrub. Nice work. You did it!