Shrub syrup doesn’t sound that delicious, but hear us out first. The “shrub” part doesn’t even refer to a bush of some sort – it comes from sharab which is an Arabic word for syrup. So, it really shouldn’t even be called shrub syrup…it’s just shrubs.
Back in the Colonial days, people would make shrubs using fruit, sugar, and vinegar. That was their way of preserving fruit since refrigeration wasn’t exactly an option back then. They used it more innocently to flavor water, but around the 19th century, it started to be used in cocktails as well.
Shrubs are making a comeback now due to a surge in interest for things homemade and more natural. They’re great because there are a ton of different ways to make them and a variety of flavors, so it’s a pretty hard thing to mess up if you’re making it yourself.
If you want to make your own shrubs at home, you really only need three basic ingredients:
What kind? Any kind you want. Play around with different combinations you think will work well and see what you like the best. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you could add some kind of spice or herb as well.
To make it, just mash up the fruit and pour sugar over it. Cover the container and let it sit out until it is syrupy (it might take up to two days, so just keep your eye on it. It could be ready sooner.) Add the vinegar, let it sit for a week and then strain out the solid fruit. Let it sit for another week just to let the flavor mellow out.
When it’s ready, you can mix it with any liquor that you like. Have you tried it? Let us know what flavors work best.