We’ve been loving the shrub drinks at our house! Tart and tasty with tons of probiotics, digestive enzymes and antioxidants, shrub drinks are a fermented fruit and vinegar blend. You can choose a from variety of fruits and herbs to flavor this vinegar-based syrup. You can add this syrup to sparkling water, juice, water, smoothies, cocktails, even oatmeal, yogurt and salad dressings. Shrubs have a long history as a way to preserve fruits. When made with a raw vinegar like raw apple cider vinegar, shrubs not only have the digestive benefits of the ACV but also allow for the fermentation process and production of beneficial probiotics. Raw apple cider vinegar is my go-to vinegar for shrubs while my favorite fruits to use are thin skinned berries like raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. You can add a touch of herbs like basil, mint or thyme to vary the flavors, just play with it!
3 cups of fruits, sliced
2 Tbsps to 1 cup of herb chopped- optional
1 quart of raw apple cider vinegar
1 cup of sugar or honey
Add fruit, herbs and sugar or honey to a clean quart mason jar.
Cover with the raw apple cider vinegar until fruit is fully submerged to avoid mold growth.
Cover lid with cheese cloth and use rim of lid to keep in place for 12 hours to inoculate the shrub with beneficial bacteria.
After 12 hours replace the cheesecloth with a piece of parchment paper and then place the whole lid- rim and lid together- over the parchment paper to avoid rusting the metal lid/rim.
Leave out for 3 days in a dark spot and shake 1-3 times a day to encourage the fermentation process.
After 3 days, place the shrub in the fridge for 2-7 days, shaking regularly, depending on the amount of tartness desired, more time for a tarter flavor.
Strain and enjoy in sparkling water, juice, smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, salad dressing, cocktails and more!
– Dr. Catherine Clinton ND