How to Make a Shrub

by | Feb 10, 2014 | Bar Ingredients, Mixology | 9 comments

Do you want to bring in more flavor to your cocktails? Today, we’re utilizing the power of making a shrub! I have here 3 different techniques to try and let’s see which one brings home the bacon.
The Knights who Say Ni would have been pleased with this shrub….ery.

Recipe Used For All Three Shrub Techniques

  • 1 Cup Vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar in this case)
  • 1 Cup Refined White Sugar
  • 1.25 Cups Strawberries

Techniques Used:

1. Hot Vinegar

Boil the vinegar and add it to the strawberries. Let it cool down and refrigerate for 24 hours. Then separate the liquid from the solids, and add sugar.

2. Cold

Bathe the strawberries in sugar to actually let the sugar extract all the flavors. Allow it to pull the water out of the strawberries for at least 4 hours, preferably for 24 hours, then remove solids and add vinegar.

3. Ninja Fast

Get down and dirty and throw it all in a blender! Let it sit for a few days to allow the flavors to really integrate.

Final Outcome:

Hot Vinegar

The hot vinegar technique had the best results when it came to color extraction, and flavor balance. The vinegar was in good balance with the sugar and fruit flavor, and seemed to be one of the easiest techniques. The strawberries themselves had a candied, almost Laffy Taffy (candy from my childhood) quality to it.

Cold Extraction

The cold extraction technique produced a shrub that was a little too vinegar forward for my taste. More time will help to take the edge off, but I would recommend a much mellower vinegar base than apple cider vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is a great companion to strawberries. Champagne, wine or other fruit based vinegar are great choices to experiment with. With the cold extraction method, the fresh fruit quality was the focus of the shrub, with a little re-balancing, I feel like this will be my preferred technique for shrubs.

Ninja fast

This was more of an experiment than anything. I was hoping to find a lightning fast technique for shrub production, but what I ended up with was essentially a vinegar based smoothie. It was worth a try, but the shrub turned out to be much cloudier and thick than the previous shrubs, and the product itself was very unbalanced.

Shrubs are a great way to preserve seasonal flavors and incorporate them into cocktails. The possibilities for flavor combinations are endless, have fun experimenting.

Here’s our Recipe for the Strawberry Shrub:

Yield: 1 Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar-I used apple cider, but any fruit or wine based vinegar is a good choice. Balsamic is another great choice. Stay away from White distilled, it’s acid is way too sharp and will be nearly impossible to mellow.
  • 1.25 cups of sliced strawberries
  • Patience…….lots of patience

Instructions:

1. Hot Vinegar
Boil the vinegar and add it to the strawberries. Let it cool down and separate the solids from the liquids. Let it sit for a while to bring out the flavors then introduce the sugar.

2. Cold
Bathe the strawberries in sugar to actually let the sugar extract all the flavors. After that, add in the vinegar.

3. Ninja Fast
Get down and dirty and throw it all in a blender! Let it sit to let the flavors marry each other.

Do you have other techniques in making a shrub? Let us know!