From the old-timey Southern Appalachian Mountain Cookbook I've discovered a Raspberry Shrub recipe. Intrigued by the ingredients, it's taken me on a journey to find out more about the history of these vinegar based concentrates.
A shrub, unlike the woody plant growing in your landscape, is a vinegar based sweet liquid made with fruit, vinegar and sugar. Popular as an alternative to hard spirits and as a way to preserve fruit harvests in the 19th and early 20th century, shrub receipts and methods were prominent in cookbooks of the day.
This Mountain Cookbook recipe for Raspberry Shrub is one that I will be trying this summer when raspberries are in season.
(also use Strawberries) Cover ripe red berries with vinegar and let stand 24 hours. Heat, cool and strain. To each cup juice, add 1 cup sugar. Boil 15 minutes, bottle and seal. When served, add two tablespoons of juice to a glass of water and crushed ice.
- From what I have read on the Internet shrubs will keep indefinitely if you use a sterilized bottle and keep the syrupy concentrate refrigerated.
- Use non-reactive cookware for this process - i.e. enamel, clay, glass, plastic and stainless steel.
- There is a page for shrub recipes and articles that I'm starting right here on this blog...woo hoo! Share, try, comment.