Not a bush but a beverage. Shrubs are also called Drinking Vinegars and they've been around for a long time! Like many things, they're seeing something of a revival of late.  They're super easy to make, especially now during berry season. I'll walk through the steps, but really all the big names in internet food prep have instructions (and opinions) on how to make 'em (like Food 52, the kitchn, serious eatsbon appetit etc.)

Start with fruit -- one cup, two, whatever you have. These raspberries grow in our driveway:

Add an equal amount of sugar, real sugar, and remind yourself that you'll only be using a tablespoon or so of the final product in a large glass. It's okay. Just do it!

Mix the sugar and fruit, cover and put in the fridge for a day or two.
The fruit will mush and the sugar will dissolve and you'll have syrup which you then strain into another bowl. Press the fruit to squeeze out all the juices. It's okay if the sugar isn't fully dissolved at this point.

Remember how many berries you used? Add the same amount of vinegar (ie: 1 cup fruit + 1 cup sugar + 1 cup vinegar) -- apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar seem to be the most recommended. Plain white is probably too harsh and balsamic has too much going on already.

 Mix it up and put it in a jar. Keep it in the fridge for up to a year! To use, add a tablespoon or so to a glass and top it up with carbonated water, or get fancy and try it with gin or vodka.

What does it taste like? Descriptions around here have ranged from -- "that pop-y stuff" to "mmmm, healthy" to "like kombucha but without the funk". I realize none of these sound particularly appetizing. What can I say -- it's a cup of fruit, sugar and vinegar, not much of an investment for something you might just love!


  1. Older Sister of Your Man18 July 2017 at 12:49

    What fun! Sometimes the best things in life are simple.


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