With cranberries all around, I wanted to make something using the tart little fruits other than cranberry sauce because I'm not particularly a fan of the stuff. I've seen a lot of shrub recipes over the summer and though this would be a perfect time to try one! And I'm not talking about a bush here, this is a form of drinking vinegar.
Shrubs are another name for drinking vinegars. They are a basic mixture of fruit, sugar, and vinegar. The mixture is either cooked, or let marinated, and the flavors become blended. The result is a fruity, tangy, very distinct flavor that you can add to practically any drink! It's making a comeback, after being used throughout history.
Add a few spoonfuls to some soda water or club soda, and you have yourself a homemade cranberry soda. Or you can use it in a cocktail in place of simple syrup! Endless possibilities await with shrubs. I can't wait to make more in the summer.
For my first shrub I decided to take the easier, (less time waiting) route by cooking it. This version combines all ingredients and cooks the fruit down on the stove. It ends up thicker than the cold-made version, more like a jam, and is ready to use instantly.
I mixed it with some club soda and a little bit of lime juice and loved it! It's different, but that's what's fun about it. Tart, sweet, and tangy.
Cranberry Shrub (Drinking Vinegar)
- 1 12 oz. bag cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan, and bring to medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Let the berries cook down, popping, and breaking down until it thickens, resembling jelly, about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and strain through a fine mesh sieve.
- Store shrub in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a month.