Why You Should Start Shrubbing

Photo by Boba Jaglicic on Unsplash

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 will 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 a good reason.

They are not just the flavor of the month or the latest fad that will die out, like 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 its purification, sanitation, medicinal, and preservation properties for a long time.

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, diabetes management, and improvement of their gut health?

There are numerous other benefits, 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 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 quickly 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. The cold method is healthier, providing good beneficial gut bacteria and 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.

Have fun!!

Ingredients:

1 cup fruit

1 cup sugar

1 cup vinegar

Addition of herb:

Ratio: Equal parts fruit, sugar, and vinegar. 1:1:1

Fruit:

Stone fruits: peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, etc.

Berries: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.

Melons: Watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, etc.

There is no fruit you can’t use. I’m not sure I would want to use bananas because of the texture, but if you do, let me know how it comes out.

Sugar:

White granulated, honey, maple syrup, agave, and molasses are great options.

White sugar is the most neutral, but the others have great components and add some complexity.

Vinegar:

White wine, champagne, apple cider, balsamic, or red wine are good choices.

You can’t go wrong with apple cider vinegar, but you can play around with the others as they all add different flavor profiles.

Instructions:

First, lightly crush the fruit in a bowl, 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. The length of time is dependent on the fruit. You want a nice juicy consistency.

Once it is nice and juicy, strain the fruit using a mesh strainer. Discard the fruit, use it as a chutney, or serve over ice cream.

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 clear 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 increase my water intake and want to add a little zing. Add a shot of vodka, rum, or whatever floats your boat for an alcoholic cocktail.

Now have fun experimenting and find your favorite shrub. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Remember, the ratio is 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 and on, but I won’t. I don’t want to take your fun away. I haven’t even started on all the tropical fruits..

So now my friend, go forth and Shrub!!

Here is another beverage that uses a superfood and is absolutely delicious.

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