From the Editor: Please welcome Sarah, CFH Customer Support Rep and Cultured Kitchen-Keeper.
After neglecting some Kombucha for a few extra weeks, I had a large amount of strong vinegar on my hands. I had read about drinking vinegars and decided to give it a try.
A drinking vinegar is an old style preserved beverage. It is made with fruit, sugar and vinegar. “Shrub” is another term for it. During colonial days, it was considered a more refreshing, thirst quenching drink than others due to the vinegar content. They fell out of favor over time, but have recently experienced a surge in popularity.
I started with some fresh, local strawberries. Since you will be mashing the fruit, don’t worry about picking the most perfect ones. In fact, I sorted through our berries from the market and picked out the most bruised and beaten ones. The basic recipe I used is at the end of the article.
Hull the berries and slice or mash. Add the sugar and let macerate until the berries are soft. Then add the vinegary Kombucha. I also added mint to mine because that sounded like a lovely idea. And my mint plant is happily growing along.
Add the mixture to a jar or other container to set for one week. Shake once a day to keep the fruit from discoloring on the surface.
At the end of the week, strain out the solids and refrigerate the remaining juice. The shrub can be enjoyed immediately or stored. It will keep for months in the fridge, but can also be stored for several weeks at room temperature. The longer the shrub is stored, the stronger the flavor will be. The high sugar content can lead to a bit of alcohol content as well, though it is impossible to predict just how much.
The basic recipe for the shrub is :
- 1 Cup sliced strawberries
- 1 Cup organic sugar
- 1 Cup vinegary Kombucha
- 1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves.
Any vinegar can be used, but this a great way to use up a batch of Kombucha that has gone too long.
Enjoying the shrub is the fun part. You can sip it straight, mix it half and half with some mineral water or club soda. Or for the grownups, try your shrub in some light rum as follows.
- 2 oz light rum
- 2 oz fruit shrub
- Splash of orange bitters (optional)
- Pour into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and serve with a sprig of mint as a garnish