What in the world is a shrub? A shrub is a delicious fruit and herb infused drinking vinegar. It is a great addition to mocktails, can be used before meals to stimulate digestion, or just sipped for a yummy seasonal drink! I like to make a couple with each season’s fruits and have them stored in my refrigerator for use all year long.
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 tbsp grated ginger root
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar (my favorite is Bragg’s)
- 1/2 cup honey
- Sparkling water, to serve
- Glass pint canning jar with plastic lid or metal lid & parchment paper
- Prepare your clean glass pint jar and it’s lid. You can boil both for 10 minutes, or use it straight from the dishwasher or after washing with soap and hot water. You can use a plastic or metal lid. The plastic lid is useful because the vinegar will erode a metal lid. If using a metal lid you will need parchment paper to place between the jar and the lid to prevent erosion.*
- Place 1 cup of blueberries and 1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger into the jar.
- Smash the blueberries with a clean metal spoon.
- Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar.
- Wipe the top of the jar with a clean & damp cloth. Cover with plastic lid or metal lid. If using metal lid, place a square of parchment paper over the top of the jar, then twist the metal lid on. You don’t want the vinegar to touch the lid of the jar as it can cause erosion of the metal, and your shrub will taste like metal too!
- Let it sit in a cool, dark place for 1-3 weeks. Shake a couple times per week.
- Strain the fruit and ginger from the vinegar with a cheesecloth.
- Add ½ cup honey to your vinegar mixture. Shake to dissolve the honey into the vinegar mixture right in your pint jar.
- Store the shrub in your refrigerator.
- To serve, mix 1 tbsp of your shrub syrup with 8 oz of sparkling water, mix into your favorite drink creation, or sip as is to stimulate digestion before a meal. Enjoy!
You can make this recipe with any fruit or herbs that you like! The ratio I commonly use is a 1:1:0.5 ratio for fruit to vinegar to sweetener, and you can play around with what amount of herb would compliment the taste of the fruit. I like to have my shrubs be on the more sour side, but you can add more sweetener to your liking!
*Because this isn’t done with a true canning process, there is a risk of bacteria growth. This is unlikely if you use proper cleanliness techniques and due to the high acid content of vinegar.
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Dr. Stamer earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine at National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. During her doctoral training, she also earned a Certificate in Natural Childbirth. She supplemented this coursework by completing a two-year apprenticeship in midwifery, women’s health, and pediatrics with a private practice in Portland, OR. Dr. Stamer has a passion for preventative medicine, educating patients about their bodies and health, and serving the community. She seeks to help people on their healing journeys using nutrition, lifestyle counseling, botanical medicine, biotherapeutic drainage, and homeopathy.