Looking for something to give your summer sips a new twist? Try a shrub. We aren’t suggesting you landscape your libation, just explore the historic drinking vinegar made popular during America’s colonial era.
The American version of the shrub came about when vinegar was used as an alternative to citrus juices in the preservation of berries and other fruits for the off-season. By the 19th century, recipes for shrubs used vinegar poured over fruits and left to infuse overnight or for several days. The fruit was strained and the remaining liquid would be mixed with a sweetener then reduced to make a syrup. Syrup could be mixed with either water or soda water and served as a soft drink, or it could be used as a mixer in alcoholic cocktails. Once home refrigeration became mainstream, shrubs fell out of popularity.
The trend of serving vinegar-based shrub drinks in American restaurants and bars became popular again in 2011 and you can find custom-blended shrubs at Goldener Hirsch in Deer Valley.
Liz Morely , head bartender at Goldener Hirsch, has been experimenting with house-made shrubs this summer. Combining different fruits (think pineapple, pear, peach and cherries) with different types of vinegar, Morely has created some very tasty concoctions for aprés adventure libations. Head up to Goldener Hirsch and sample an artfully crafted cocktail today. Goldener Hirsch is open from 5:30- 9:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For those more adventurous, she has shared her shrub recipe below.
- 1 pound fruit of choice
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 3/4 white vinegar
- Combine fruit and sugar and let sit for 24 hours.
- Add the vinegar (try different types of vinegar based on your taste).
- Let sit up to 24 hours.
- Strain fruit and push through all liquid.
- Pour over ice and top with sparkling water or mix with alcohol of choice.
- Shrub will store in glass or metal container in the fridge for up to 8 weeks (if it lasts that long).