Two months ago I had no idea what a shrub was. I knew what a bush shrub was, but not these things that people are calling drinking vinegars – shrub the drink.
If you haven’t heard of them either, shrubs are vinegar-sugar-fruit concoctions that have been around for eons and eons. While once they were used to help prevent scurvy in sailors, today we drink shrubs because they’re just plain good.
This month the mastery challenge has been all about jellies and shrubs and since we were making Rhubarb Prosecco Jelly the other day, Trish and I, we figured that we might as well make a shrub too. The rhubarb she had pulled out of her freezer just happened to be enough to make both recipes. So, a shrub we tried. It was pretty easy to whip up after we had worked on the jelly.
We used this recipe from Vegetarian Times; I was captivated by the colour of the liquid and just happened to have some ginger languishing in my freezer. It was dead easy to make and afterwards we tried a few teaspoons of it in glasses of the sparkling wine we had leftover from making the jelly. For something that we both agreed didn’t actually sound that good, it definitely was.
I’ve had the shrub in white wine several times since and have come to love its vinegar-y flavour. A surprise for the senses! Captivated by the possibilities of these new and natural ways to flavour drinks and cocktails, I ordered Michael Dietsch’s book called Shrubs and am currently going through it to find more ideas.
My fridge is starting to look like a hodge podge of jars, what with all this marmalade and jelly and shrub-making! I’m OK with that.