This shrub drink is a delightful pick-me-up made with fresh fruit, sugar and vinegar.
What’s a shrub? In two words: drinking vinegar. Before refrigeration was invented, shrubs were an excellent way to preserve fruit. Fresh fruit was mixed was sugar and fermented over several days creating to create a thick syrup that could then be added to water and cocktails.
Shrubs don’t have to be alcoholic and are certainly not girly. You can finally serve a pretty pink drink that both men and women can enjoy together. Though similar in color, this shrub drink is a far cry from a Cosmopolitan.
The sweetness of fruit and sourness of the vinegar makes a refreshing combination when added to tall glass of seltzer. The tangy flavor in similar to other fermented drinks like kombucha.
A typical shrub cocktail revolves around the syrup. Usually made with fresh fruit, sugar and vinegar, the shrub syrup can be made in a variety of ways. Shrub enthusiasts will first make their own fruit vinegar. That vinegar is then added to a combination of fresh fruit and sugar left to sit out and ferment over a few days. This strawberry rhubarb shrub enlists a less traditional but time-saving technique of cooking the fruit, vinegar and sugar together, rather than waiting a week for fermentation. Add this shrub syrup to an iced glass of seltzer for a thirst-quenching aperitif. Make the shrub syrup up to three days before and store in the fridge. The combination of strawberry and rhubarb is perfect with a botanical gin like Hendrick’s or Magellan in this cocktail.
Quick and Easy Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub Drink
Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and apple cider vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for about ten minutes, stirring constantly until the fruit begins to break down. Remove from heat and allow the fruit soak for 15 minutes, stir again
Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the liquid from the pulp and chill in an air-tight container in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Fill each mason jar with 3-4 medium ice cubes and 1 ounce of the strawberry rhubarb liquid. Then add 1 ounce gin, stir with a spoon and then top off with 4 ounces selzer. Serve with a straw.
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Photos by Ally-Jane