OK, so this one goes under the heading “epically awesome”. I have recently spent time in the Burnaby test kitchen learning how to make a raspberry shrub.
What’s a raspberry shrub you ask? It is basically drinkable fruit vinegar.
To make a shrub, take 2 cups of fruit, 2 cups of sugar, and mix it together in a bowl. For the shrub that I made, I used 2 cups of fresh raspberries.
I put them in a large glass mixing bowl and then added 2 cups of sugar, and stirred it all about.
I let the sugar and raspberry combination sit in the fridge for two days and I would give it a stir once in awhile. I might’ve stirred it three or four times in the two days that it was sitting in the fridge in the glass bowl.
After two days of the fruit and sugar mixing together, I took it out of the fridge gave it a very thorough stir and then poured it into a very fine stainless steel strainer.
If you follow the instructions for making a shrub that you find on Pinterest it says to use cheesecloth as a strainer. Seeing as necessity is the mother of invention and I didn’t have any cheesecloth with me at the time, I just took the finest stainless steel strainer I had and pushed the fruit and sugar mixture through that.
I ended up with a very small mound of solids inside the strainer and just a bit less than 2 cups of very sugary fruit juice.
Yes, if I had used cheesecloth I would probably have a more clear shrub than I ended up with. However all things considered mine is remarkably clear.
I poured the sugary fruit juice into a sterilized glass jar (a retired mayonnaise jar) and then added the vinegar. I’m a big believer in the health benefits of apple cider vinegar so that’s what I used.
Then you put the lid on, screw it closed and put the jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks to let the shrub mature.
After the shrub has matured, you add about half an ounce of it to an eight ounce glass of ice cold water or soda water, stir it up, and enjoy a momentary flavour flashback to those warm summer nights when you were standing near a raspberry vine popping fresh raspberries in your mouth.
A shrub is an ancient way of preserving fruit for the long winter months. In the next couple days I will let you know how my raspberry shrub turned out.