Strawberry Shrub

June 28, 2011

Author Notes: Chef Andy Ricker has several amazing restaurants in Portland, including Pok Pok and Ping, that serve SE Asian cuisine. One of the coolest things they serve are their drinking vinegars, which make a refreshing beverage when added to seltzer water, and can also be added to cocktails. A recent trip to Ping with the ever-lovely Midge ( http://www.food52.com/cooks... ) put a bee in my bonnet: I wanted to make my own drinking vinegar. Some internet research provided me with the basic instructions, which I adjusted to suit myself. The resulting "shrub" is an intensely flavored and refreshingly tart decoction.

I highly recommend using coconut vinegar - its mild taste won't compete with your fruit, and it's a lovely translucent white color so your final product will be gorgeous. I found the vinegar at my local Asian market, and it was only a buck 39 a bottle.

Do feel free to experiment with any fruit or combo you'd like!
hardlikearmour

Makes: about 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh strawberries
  • 750 milliliters coconut vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus additional to taste
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Wash strawberries well, and drain well in a colander. Remove stems and slice or quarter the berries, then transfer them to a non-reactive container that can be tightly sealed.
  2. Pour the vinegar over the berries. Seal the container and allow to rest at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, stirring once to twice daily. The berries will lose most of their color.
  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. 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!

More Great Recipes:
Fruit|Strawberry|Vinegar|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Fourth of July|Father's Day|Memorial Day|Mother's Day|Summer|Vegan|Alcohol-Free Drinks|Vegetarian

Reviews (15) Questions (1)

15 Reviews

susan G. September 4, 2011
I tried making this with red seedless grapes and palm vinegar. I wanted to leave the pulp in so I put it through a food mill. It was pink and pretty and just the right tartness with the given amount of sugar. This will be good to follow the seasons, adjusting for different fruits. I think of it as natural Gatorade --- and a whole lot better!
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour September 4, 2011
Yay! I haven't tried grapes yet, but will add it to my to-do list!
 
susan G. July 19, 2012
Back again, with my first shrub of the summer, peach and ginger. I pureed it after cooking. Delicious!
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour July 20, 2012
Double Yum! Love peach and ginger.
 
wssmom July 2, 2011
Love this! You should make a raspberry version for the new contest, no?
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour July 2, 2011
I've been drinking way too much of it - my tongue is sore so I have to take a break! I've got a couple of flavors in the works, maybe even one with raspberry ;)
 
gingerroot July 2, 2011
YUM! Sounds delicious. Will have to look for coconut vinegar the next time I'm in Chinatown.
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour July 2, 2011
Thanks, gingerroot! I just bought 4 bottles yesterday.
 
mrslarkin June 28, 2011
Fun! It sounds so refreshing. Will look for the coconut vinegar next time I'm at the Asian market.
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
I hope you get to try it! I'm starting up a batch with cherries & ginger tonight.
 
Sagegreen June 28, 2011
Very refreshing!
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
Thanks, SG! I think this would be right up your alley.
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour June 29, 2011
PS...the tree bark behind is from my Norway maple which I fully intend to tap in the winter!
 
Midge June 28, 2011
Hurray! Thanks for figuring it out hla! It looks so very refreshing. Can't wait to give it a try myself. Love the name too.
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour June 28, 2011
Thanks, Midge! It's the second definition of shrub from dictionary.com "any of various acidulated beverages made from the juice of fruit, sugar, and other ingredients, often including alcohol. "