5 Ingredients or Fewer

Raspberry Shrub (aka Drinking Vinegar)

July  6, 2011
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! - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour

Test Kitchen Notes

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! - gingerroot —gingerroot

  • 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
In This Recipe
  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!

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I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.