Last week, we shared a recipe for this amazing Black Cherry Shrub and were so floored by the ease of making them and pleased with the flavor results that we’ve tried a few more variations.
That Black Cherry version that we made spent some time on the stove in order to speed up the sugar dissolving and the break down of fruits before the straining; separating the meats from the resulting syrup. We prepared a Peach Ginger Vanilla Shrub in the same manner, simply swapping the fruit and adding a couple of slices of fresh ginger root and a partially spent vanilla bean that I pulled from my homemade vanilla extract bottle. There were still some bean flecks and flavoring that remained, which was sufficient for this small preparation.
You can get similar results in a cold process – in which no extra water, and no heating is needed. It does require more time, but it seems to produce a more mellow syrup, which is worth the wait if subtle nuances in flavor matter to you. This is a wonderful route to go if you’re just needed to rescue a bit of fruit and have zero time for prepping.
Here’s how simple it is:
Following the general ratio of 1 part sugar : 1 part fruit : 1 part vinegar for the finished product
How strong is the vinegar flavor in these?
It really depends on how you’re using the shrub, and on the particular flavor profiles of the fruits used. Some you may like right away, and others you may wish to let mellow out for a few days. A little extra time allows the flavors to mellow out a bit.
Can you substitute Stevia for the sugar? My husband is diabetic.
Hello Jan, Great question & Good news…since the vinegar is doing the heavy work of preserving in this case, the sugar is highly adjustable to your preferences. A couple of thoughts on the stevia – since I haven’t tried it in this application, I’m not sure how much of it you’ll need/like. It may take some testing. I’ve not used the powdered form to draw out fruit juices…if you find that it doesn’t work as well, you may want to do the cooked version in order to get those juices flowing. You’ve made me curious…since I grow my own stevia to throw in with batches of home brewed tea or lemon grass, I’m going to try putting a little bit of the fresh stevia in with my fruit for the cooked method. Hmmm. I’ll report back on that….and I’ll be curious to see what results you experience!
You mentioned in the cooked version adding a vanilla bean from your homemade vanilla extract. I wanted to try the cooked version, can you share your homemade vanilla recipe?
Sure thing! You’ll find our vanilla extract recipe here – https://www.fillmorecontainer.com/blog/2014/11/18/diy-how-to-make-your-own-vanilla-extract/
OMG I can’t wait to do this!!!
I’ve never even heard of a shrub in this context before. Once you’ve made this fermented syrup (??) and let it mellow in the fridge for a day or two – or more? – how do you serve it? The photo show a glass (jar) with ice in it – is this fermented concoction diluted with water or some other liquid? Anything else added? Thanks
To serve you can mix a bit of the shrub syrup into a glass of still or sparkling water. Taste and add more syrup, if desired. We do like ice in ours, especially since we tend to enjoy them on hot summer days. Shrub syrups may also be used as cocktail mixers, in salad dressings, and more. Enjoy!
My recipe from a old cookbook is simple and forgiving, Put your fruit in a gallon jar and cover with vinegar. Let stand. You can keep adding fruit and vinegar as supplies become available. This does not require refrigeration. Agitate occasionally. Strain off and discard fruit. For every pint of juice/vinegar solution add one pound of sugar. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the sugar dissolves. Bottle and cap. No sealing or refrigeration required due to the high sugar and vinegar content. I have used this method with white vinegar and rose petals with very good results.
Thanks for sharing. We have not tried this method, so can’t speak to how it turns out. I would suggest you use a secure bottling method such as an EZ Cap bottle, to ensure carbonation doesn’t cause any unwanted explosions of bottles.
Is it one part vinegar to equal the result of the sugar and fruit or one part of the initial amount? Example: 1 c berries, 1 c sugar 1 c vinegar or vinegar to equal the amount left after berries and sugar combine?
The generally accepted ratio for a shrub is equal parts fruit, sugar & vinegar. For example – 1 c berries, 1 c sugar 1 c vinegar.
Will this work with 100% fruit juice?
Are you thinking of swapping the fresh fruit with fruit juice? You could certainly give it a try. We do like using fresh fruit, and have not tried using fruit juice. Let us know how it turns out.
Oh I just made a berry shrub and put in a small canning jar, then left in a cool dark area in my house. The ingredients are just berries & vinegar. According to the blog it sits for 14 days. But now I’m not sure about jar explosion? Should just leave it be? I’m a novice at this.
Since our homemade shrubs aren’t tested for shelf stability, we keep ours in the refrigerator.
I’ve never drunk a shrub before – how do I use the berry/peach shrub?
Shrubs can be served just over ice. Or they are often topped with either cold water, club soda, or ginger ale, etc.