Have you ever heard of shrub? Have you ever had it before? Do you like vinegar? Are you an old soul? Is your grandmother your idol? Do you have an absurdly and unnecessary amount of fresh fruit? These are all good questions to ask oneself before engaging in this recipe today.
Shrub, if you don't know, is a drinking vinegar. What's that? Okay, let me be more specific. Shrub is generally equal parts fruit, sugar, and vinegar. The fruit is muddled with the sugar and let to rest for a day or two, then the fruit is removed and the vinegar is added. It's bottled and stored in the fridge for at least one week and up to half a year. The concoction is diluted in water or, if you choose, made into a cocktail.
My grandparents always made a raspberry shrub. They had vast rows upon rows of huge, plump raspberries and one way to use the excess berries was to make shrub. It's the taste of my childhood summers, their raspberry shrub.
I decided to make my shrub with rhubarb and lavender because, well, I have a ton of the stuff and not so much in the way of raspberries. The rhubarb is delightfully tart in this sugary, sour shrub and the lavender lends a summery, floral essence. This shrub has been sitting in my fridge for two weeks in the flip-top bottles, and is just about perfect. As it sits in the fridge, the vinegar mellows and the flavors really meld together.
My grandmother always said vinegar "cleans out your insides" and would often give us a shot of raw apple cider vinegar with water to choke down. This is much better.
Lavender Rhubarb Shrub
Makes 32 oz.
Notes: As the shrub sits in the fridge, the vinegar will mellow and the flavors really meld together. Any fruit can be used in place of the rhubarb. Don't throw away the leftover sugared fruit! I bag it and freeze it, then use it in smoothies or a pie. Waste not, want not!
- 3 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
- 3 large sprigs of lavender
- 3 cups vegan sugar
- 3 cups apple cider vinegar
Combine the rhubarb, lavender, and sugar in a large bowl. Mix together with your hands, crushing the rhubarb between your fingers and really incorporating the sugar until it's a wet mess. This is important. It will take about 5 minutes. There shouldn't be any dry sugar left.
Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 24-48 hours. After a time, the rhubarb should be surrounded by a watery liquid and bubbles should start to form.
Now, strain the rhubarb pressing into a mesh sieve to extract all the juices. There'll be a lot of sugar leftover in the bowl. Try to keep as much of it as possible. Add back the rhubarb juice and stir into the sugar. Now, stir in the vinegar.
Transfer to bottles and store in the fridge for at least one week and up to half a year. Dilute to taste in water, or cocktails. And with ice, always with ice. Crushed if possible. I use about a 1 part shrub to 5 parts water.
German Word of The Day
Vinegar --> Essig (S-ich)
Good Deed of The Day
Neanderthals were "mainly vegetarian." Surprise! Inform yourself and read the rest of the article, here. So go Paleo! Which would be mainly vegetarian.