Shrub recipe how to make your own syrup with the cocktail trend fajita flank steak marinade

I am a cocktails guy who believes that fresh fruit makes for the absolute best flavored syrups for my drinks. And I also buy much of my produce at the local farmers market, so I can shake hands with the person who grew it. But there’s one major drawback when you’re buying fruit straight from the farmer, and that’s time.

Here in georgia, peach season only lasts for about two months, and strawberries only show up for a few weeks in the early spring. Even the best fruit syrup will only last a week or two in the fridge before it starts to go bad; a major problem for those of us who crave strawberry daiquiris well into late august. Enter the shrub, or, as it was also once called, the drinking vinegar.Glass bottle

Shrubs and drinking vinegars have a long history. They’ve been around as about as long as america’s been around: once used as a medicinal tonic, they’re coming back with a vengeance. (think of the shrub as kombucha’s fruitier, more flamboyant cousin.) as hipsters can tell you, shrubs are now big business, with fancy, expensive brands popping up all over.

By mixing fruit, acid, and sugar together, you can create a magical tart-and-sweet concoction that also preserves fruit nicely. You can sip them on their own, but I prefer to add mine to unflavored soda water for a refreshing, all-natural soda (create your own with sodastream), or to mix them with tequila to make outrageous margaritas, rum for fruity daiquiris, or gin for a sophisticated and flavorful fizz.Glass bottle

• mix well, cover loosely, and allow the fruit to macerate in the fridge for about a day: during this process, the sugar draws out the fruit’s liquid and creates a syrup.

• once the fruit has released its juices, strain out the solids and pour the liquid into a glass bottle that has a lid. (tip: save the fruit for your morning smoothie or add it to the top of a cake – it’s too good to throw away!) if the fruit isn’t at its peak and after a day you’re not seeing the drawn-out liquid in the bowl, add the entire mixture to a saucepan with half a cup of water and bring it to a boil for a few minutes. This will draw out the liquid in just a few minutes. The fruit color will be a bit more dull, but the flavor will be there.Glass bottle allow the mixture to cool and strain it into a glass bottle before moving on to the next step.

• add vinegar to the bottle and mix well. (plain white vinegar works well, but I really like the flavor of apple cider vinegar instead.) the traditional shrub recipe calls for equal parts fruit, sugar, and vinegar, but I like to stay just shy of an equal part of vinegar to keep the shrub a bit more mellow and without as much of an acidic bite. The vinegar will continue to mellow and fade into the shrub after a few weeks, but I like to enjoy my shrub a bit sooner than that. You’ll need to shake your shrub every few days, but most of the sugar should dissolve into the vinegar after a few days. (if it doesn’t, shake well before pouring and don’t worry.)

unflavored soda water

When you’re ready to enjoy, try adding a splash or two of the shrub to unflavored soda water or use it in place of simple syrup in your favorite cocktail recipe. And if you really want to get creative, try shrub mixtures like ginger-lemon, watermelon-jalapeno-lime, or even radish-onion-strawberry. There’s really no limit to how creative you can get in making your cocktail combinations.

For more on shrubs, check out the book shrubs: an old-fashioned drink for modern times on amazon or purchase already-made shrubs from uncommon goods.