No, we are not talking landscaping here.
We are talking about a refreshing, tangy, healthy alternative to soda or other beverages. We are talking about a grown up, sophisticated, cultured, edgy, beverage that is going to stick around for a while. We are talking about drinking vinegar also known as a shrub.
They are all the rage right now and for good reason.
They are not just the flavor of the month or the latest fad that will die out along with so many other health fads. Drinking vinegars, aka, shrubs have been around for centuries. These were yesterday’s soda pop and finally being resurrected as hopefully tomorrow’s soda pop. You really want to quit that crap. The clean eating philosophy just makes sense and can change your life. If you want to learn more you can read my free E-book.
Vinegar has been used for a very long time for its purification, sanitation, medicinal, and preservation properties.
Apple cider vinegar tastes awful! ok, I said it.
How many of you or people you know are adding apple cider vinegar to their daily regimen for weight loss, controlling blood sugar for diabetes management, and to improve their gut health?
There are numerous other benefits as well including topical applications for skin and hair and even in household cleaning(very effective and no harsh chemicals). Sounds great right? except for the taste! yuk!
For the sake of this article, we are going to be talking about the internal use. There is more and more evidence surfacing showing its medicinal value and unlike straight apple cider vinegar this medicine tastes great!
Shrubs are fun!
Many high – end bars are creating unique and stylish cocktails using shrubs. That is what makes this so much fun! You can create so many variations and get creative.
Why not come up with your very own signature recipe? I am still trying to come up with mine.
I like adding my shrub to water. As much as I love my lemon water sometimes I want a little something different and the varieties are endless. You can whip up a batch without any fancy supplies or processes.
There is the heat method for the impatient which you can easily whip up on the stove in minutes. I am not going to provide you with that recipe. If you want it all you have to do is google it.
The recipe I am going to provide you with is the cold process. This is the process that is healthier providing good healthy gut bacteria and provides so much more flavor. It is easy, so why not use this process? It just takes a little longer. Not harder, just longer.
Recipe for the basic shrub. You can swap out the sweetener, fruit, and herbs just about any way you want.
1 cup fruit
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
Addition of herb:
Ratio: Equal parts fruit, sugar, and vinegar. 1:1:1
Stone fruits: peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, etc
Berries: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.
Melons: Watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, etc
There is really no fruit you can’t use. Not sure I would want to use bananas though but if you do let me know how it comes out.
White granulated, Honey, Maple syrup, Agave, Molasses.
White sugar is the most neutral but the others all have great components and depending on what you are looking for can add some complexity.
White wine, champagne, apple cider, balsamic, red wine.
You can’t go wrong with apple cider vinegar but you can play around with the others as they all add different flavor profiles.
First, lightly crushed the fruit in a bowl and add the sugar and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days. This depends on the fruit. You are wanting a nice juicy consistency.
Add an equal amount of vinegar to the strained fruit juice, place in a bottle or jar and wallah! How easy is that? I like to use these clear 1 liter glass bottles so the vibrant color shows through.
Place this in the refrigerator and it will last for up to a year.
I like to add a splash to club soda or even just plain water when I am trying to drink more water and want to add a little zing. Add a shot of vodka, rum, or whatever floats your boat for an alcoholic cocktail.
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Remember the ratio is super simple: 1 part fruit, 1 part sugar, 1 part vinegar.
Try 1 cup of each or you can double the recipe. Add herbs or extracts to add a little something special.
Here are some ideas:
- Blueberry-ginger-White sugar- apple cider vinegar
- Blackberry-lavender-molasses-balsamic vinegar
- Watermelon-mint-agave-white wine vinegar
- Raspberry- lemon peel- champagne vinegar- white sugar
- Peach-Blackberry-honey- apple cider vinegar
- Strawberry-basil-white sugar- apple cider vinegar
- Peach- Vanilla- white vinegar- brown sugar
- Apple, cinnamon, Maple syrup, Apple cider vinegar
Oh my, I could go on an on but I won’t. I don’t want to take your fun away. I havn’t even started on the all the tropical fruits..