I’ve just recently learned about a type of beverage called a shrub. Traditionally a shrub was a fruit and vinegar-based beverage that often included large amounts of alcohol as a preservative.
If the idea of a vinegar-based beverage has you scratching your head, think of lemonade; it’s very acidic yet somehow refreshing and thirst-quenching. Since lemons aren’t anywhere near local to us, the idea of being able to create a similar experience with all local ingredients was an exciting prospect to me.
The final results didn’t let me down. It was fantastic.
A shrub is typically diluted with water or carbonated water. I’ve been mixing this with 4 parts water to 1 part shrub (i.e. 4 cups of water gets added to 1 cup of shrub).
The recipe requires a scale. You could bluff it but the results will be difficult to control consistently. We constantly find uses for our $25 scale and I can’t recommend it enough.
- Rhubarb, chopped small
- Brown Sugar (or maple sugar if you want to be really decadent)
- Vinegar (any type will do, I used white, though white wine or cider vinegar could be really interesting here).
I used 168 grams (about 6 ounces) of each and ended up with about 1.25 cups of shrub concentrate (enough to make 6 cups of final beverage).
- Add the rhubarb and sugar together, stir to incorporate. Cover and place in fridge for 24 hours (this will draw the liquid out of the rhubarb).
- Add vinegar, stir. Cover with a paper towel and let it sit in the fridge for 24-72 hours (the longer it sits, the less acidic it will taste).
- Strain out the solids, pressing them to remove all the liquid you can.
- Store in a covered mason jar in the fridge.
It’s awesome – and I can’t wait to make some cocktails from it too!
If you’re looking for a rhubarb beverage that you can preserve and isn’t based on vinegar, try this cordial.