Raspberry Shrub (aka Drinking Vinegar)

By • July 6, 2011 • 56 Comments

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Author Notes: I've been a bit obsessed with drinking vinegar since a recent dinner outing to Ping, one of chef Andy Ricker's local restaurants. At Ping you can get a wide variety of Asian-style drinking vinegars mixed with seltzer, as well as incorporated into cocktails. They make a delightfully tart soda - with the tang of the vinegar hitting you first, and the fruit finishing on the palate. For this version I used fresh raspberries with a little lemongrass to complement the berry flavor. I've also made strawberry (yum), watermelon-lychee (meh), and cherry-ginger (yum.) There is a lot of room for experimentation, so don't be afraid to give it a go! - hardlikearmourhardlikearmour

Food52 Review: Hardlikearmour’s Raspberry Shrub intrigued me. Admittedly, my palate tends toward the sour and tangy. Luckily, I found coconut vinegar easily. By far, the hardest part about making this is waiting. Finally, three days later, as my shrub cooked down, I tasted just a bit, as hardlikearmour suggests, and ended up adding an extra ¼-cup of sugar. Topped with sparkling water, the shrub is refreshing and full of tart raspberry flavor and aroma. The tang from the vinegar pops on your palate in a delightful, can’t-wait-to-take-another-sip kind of way. Raspberries are the perfect match for this kind of vinegar cordial. Not only does this taste good, but also you feel good drinking it. I look forward to experimenting and enjoying this lovely drinking vinegar. Thanks hardlikearmour for a wonderfully inspired recipe! - gingerrootgingerroot

Makes about 3 cups

  • 24 to 30 ounces fresh or frozen organic raspberries
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 750 milliliters coconut vinegar (5% acidity)*
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus additional to taste
  1. Place raspberries, lemongrass, and vinegar into a non-reactive container that can be tightly sealed. (I don't wash the raspberries because they are so fragile, and I don't want to lose any of their juice. If you need to you may gently rinse them.)
  2. Seal the container and allow to rest at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, stirring once to twice daily. The berries will basically disintegrate within a day or so.
  3. Transfer vinegar and berries to a non-reactive saucepan. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, then reduce heat to low. Simmer as gently as possible, uncovered for one hour, stirring on occasion. (Note: boiling vinegar is quite pungent, make sure you have good ventilation!)
  4. Strain a tablespoon or two of the mixture into a glass, and allow it to cool. Add seltzer water, then taste. Add sugar if desired (I ended up adding another 1/4 cup of sugar.) Once it is the desired sweetness, remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the entire mixture through a mesh strainer set over a bowl, pressing as much of the liquid out of the fruit pulp as possible. Strain the collected liquid through a mesh strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth into a quart-sized pitcher or glass measure. Transfer to a bottle, cool to room temperature, seal, and store in the fridge. Use as you see fit!
  5. * Look for coconut vinegar at Asian groceries. It is a translucent white color, and has a mild flavor making it a perfect vehicle for your fruit to shine!
Jump to Comments (56)

Tags: beat-the-heat, tart and fruity, unusual mixer

Comments (56) Questions (0)

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over 1 year ago BlueKaleRoad

I love your shrubs, Sara! I just saw coconut vinegar for the first time recently so I'm going back to get it. The addition of lemongrass sounds marvelous. Can't wait to try this one!

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over 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thank you, BKR! It may be my imagination, but I think the lemongrass enhances the raspberry flavor.

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I hoped you would enter this, it's amazing and the best use of vinegar EVER!!

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over 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, Suzanne! I'm contemplating a strawberry-rhubarb one for the spring, but the local berries aren't ripe yet.

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh strawberry rhubarb would be wonderful. I can't wait for the berries to hit the market here too.

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over 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I have some frozen blueberries so I may try blueberry-rhubarb instead!

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over 1 year ago fitsxarts

this is so awesome. totally obsessed. have a blueberry one in the works now.

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over 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm sorry, I didn't get your message earlier! Blueberry makes a great one -- I've had great success with berries and stone fruit.

Dsc00426

over 2 years ago vvvanessa

I can't believe I haven't made this yet. I'm making this my #1 farmers' market priority this week!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I can't believe it, either ;-) ! I've made a few batches this summer - peach-cardamom and strawberry-lavender have been my favorite this year. Still need to make another batch of plum-star anise which may be my all-time fav!

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over 2 years ago LLStone

I have two batches in the works - blackberry and raspberry. I've tasted after stirring, and I can tell they are going to be delicious!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Yay! I find berries, stone fruit, and mangoes are my favorites.

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over 2 years ago meganotoole

LOVE IT- really fun to make and will make any mixologist look even better behind the bar.

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

thanks, megan! I like having some on hand for refreshing summer beverages.

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over 2 years ago northstar100

I just made my first shrub with strawberries from my own strawberry plants. Can't wait to try many others. Thanks for this!

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over 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Yay! I started a batch with strawberries last night, local, but not home grown.

Birthday_2012

about 3 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

I'm so happy that I followed the comment thread about foods people love/hate and then arrived at this recipe. Serendipity! :)))

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'm glad you found it, too!

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I just made a batch of marionberry using frozen berries, and it worked really well. I updated the recipe to include frozen berries. Yay!

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about 3 years ago lapadia

Yay, thanks for sharing this!

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about 3 years ago lapadia

Yay, again!!! Thanks for sharing your marionberry at our potluck, it was very delicious!

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about 3 years ago cbear1984

I making a grape one tonight. I overbought at the market (whoops), so I'll have to see how this goes.

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about 3 years ago susan g

I made it with grapes and was very happy with it. My comments are on the Strawberry Shrub entry. Hope you enjoy it -- I see below you're experienced already.

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I hope it works out for you as well as it worked for susan!

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over 3 years ago Alexander Kern

I'm glad to see more and more people becoming interested in shrubs. I am a late convert myself, only having it for the first time last year. Since then I've become hooked and really interested in different drinking vinegars.

If anyone is interested in seeing some more DIY shrub recipes, you might want to check out http://bringmeashrub.blogspot... for more.

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

awesome! Thanks for sharing.

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over 3 years ago Alexander Kern

I am really happy to see more and more people becoming interested in drinking vinegar. I'm kind of a bit of a late convert myself, only trying it for the first time last year. Since then, I've been hooked.

If anyone is interested in seeing recipes for other DIY shrubs, check out http://bringmeashrub.blogspot... for some rather unconventional flavored drinking vinegars and more.

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over 3 years ago cbear1984

I'm trying this with blueberries. So excited to see how it'll come out!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I did a blueberry-tarragon version, using 2 lbs of blueberries. Is probably my favorite version! Let me know how yours turns out.

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over 3 years ago cbear1984

It turned out pretty good! Any idea how long it'll keep?

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

A long time in the fridge. I still have a small amount left of the Strawberry one I made more than a month ago. Glad it worked out for you!

Ls

over 3 years ago gluttonforlife

I ordered some of Ping's tamarind drinking vinegar and have been enjoying it mixed with seltzer and in a cocktail with tequila! Your versions sound delicious!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks! You should make some - I love how easy it is, and how many potential flavor options there are.

Me

over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I confess I'd never heard of shrubs until about a month ago here on Food52, and you've peaked my interest greatly with this one since I've been experimenting with all the forms of coconut this year. This looks just wonderful, and I'll be making it this week for sure!!!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I hope you get a chance to make some! My husband and I really like them, my sister and brother not so much (sister wants to add more sugar, and brother thinks its too vinegary!) You can pretty much play with any fruit or combo you'd like, though I suppose banana might be disgusting. I'm thinking of trying kiwi next.

Me

over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Kiwi would be interesting to try. It's already tart, so the balance will be important - I love the idea. I tried to do a slushy kiwi drink for this week's contest. Disaster. So I would love to see what you come up with!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I'll let you know when I try it... you add sugar to taste at the end, so it should be okay for the balance. I like it nice and tart personally, but there's a lot of room for individual taste with this stuff.

Bike2

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

Nice!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

:)

Checker

over 3 years ago checker

What a fantastic idea. Oh the possibilities! Thanks for sharing!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

You are welcome!

Port2

over 3 years ago nogaga

I don't have coconut vinegar but was dying to taste this, so I made up half a batch with my Pommery raspberry vinegar. I'm sure the coconut is better, but this was fabulous! I could drink vinegar every day... Paired with San Pellegrino it felt like a cocktail. Thanks for a total winner!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

So glad you got a chance to try it, and thrilled that you like it! Good to know about alternatives for the coconut vinegar.

Port2

over 3 years ago nogaga

I have not given up on finding coconut vinegar! I'm sure its even better, rounder. Do you think Chinese or Philippine groceries are the places to look?

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I found it at a fairly small Asian market near my house, so that's definitely where to look.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Sounds really yummy, hla!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, mrslarkin! I certainly think so.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

All your combinations sound wonderful. Love the idea!

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Thanks, b! I have 3 unopened bottles of vinegar just waiting to meet some fruit.