Whether sprucing up soda or spirits, shrubs (fruit-and-vinegar syrups) prove the ultimate summer salve.
Basic Shrub Recipe
Combine 2 cups very ripe fruit (such as raspberries, peaches, or pineapple), chopped, 2 cups granulated sugar, and 2 Tbsp. water in a large saucepan over medium-high, and cook, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved and juices are released, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until fruit breaks down, 3 to 4 minutes. Using the back of a large spoon, muddle fruit pieces into syrup. Remove from heat, and allow mixture to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a 1-quart jar with a tight-fitting lid, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract juices; discard solids. Stir ½ cup vinegar (such as red wine, white balsamic, or rice vinegar) into fruit mixture. Seal and store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
To view this recipe on MyRecipes, click here.
Combine ½ oz. shrub, 1½ oz. desired alcohol, and 3 to 4 oz. sparkling water or club soda over ice. Enjoy immediately. (Omit alcohol for a refreshing mocktail.)
Our favorite prepared shrubs for farmstand-fresh drinks in a flash.
This Portland, Maine, producer suggests mixing its cherry shrub into marinades, mocktails, and even barbecue sauce. $12; thebostonshaker.com
Chef Andy Ricker is packaging the Thai drinking vinegars that have been a staple at his Portland, Oregon, restaurants. $15; pokpoksom.com
West Coast flavors inspire Native Californian Kristina Briseño's combinations. $20; lascaliforniasshrubco.com
The Berkeley company handcrafts its shrubs with GMO-free fruit like blood oranges, strawberries, and red grapefruit. $22; shrubandco.com
Dafna Kory employs only organic, seasonal produce sourced from within 150 miles of her Bay Area kitchen. $15; innajam.com