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Balsamic Shrubs

 
Balsamic Shrubs
Balsamic Shrubs

The term shrub refers to a drink that was popular during America’s colonial era.  Made by mixing a sweet vinegar with spirits, water, or carbonated water.  The term “shrub” can also be applied to the sweetened vinegar from which the cocktail is made; the syrup is also known as a “drinking vinegar”.  Drinking vinegar is often infused with fruit juice, herbs and spices for use in mixed drinks.

Vinegar has a way of both infusing and pulling out the flavor from ingredients which are steeped in it.  This maceration process is simple and delightfully tasty.  It’s also a healthy alternative to store bought sweetened drinks.

With spring’s abundance of produce, use your imagination to create delightful combinations of seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables, berries, and vinegar to make all manner of mixers and spritzers.

Ingredients:
2 cups of White Balsamic of your choice
1 cup fruit, herb, berry, or vegetable of your choice
8 cups chilled seltzer water or sparkling water (without sodium added)

Directions:
In a one liter mason jar or container add the fresh botanical ingredients.  Pour the balsamic over the fruit and allow to “infuse” for at least one hour or up to four hours under refrigeration.  The longer it sits, the more pronounced the flavor of the fruit infusion.  Strain and keep refrigerated and tightly covered for up to one month.

To serve, add 1-2 T of infused drinking vinegar (shrub) depending on your preference for sweetness to 8 oz. of chilled sparkling water.  Serve over ice if desired.

Makes between 16-32 servings depending on amount added to water or cocktails.

Below are some possible combinations:

BALSAMIC VINEGAR

MIXED WITH

 

Grapefruit

Fresh Cucumber and Lemon

Lemon

Fresh blueberries and 2”sprig fresh thyme

Apricot

Fresh Strawberries

Mango

Fresh Kiwi

Pineapple

Fresh Basil

Pineapple

Jalapeno

Pineapple

Fresh Orange & Ginger

Black Cherry

Fresh Ginger

Black Cherry

Fresh Peppercorns

Blueberry

Fresh Lavender

Raspberry

Fresh Mint & Lemon

Vanilla

Fresh Strawberries

Peach

Fresh Mint

Lemon

Fresh Lavender

Lemon

Fresh Mint

Lemon

Fresh Mint & Cucumber

Blackberry Ginger

Fresh Lime

Strawberry

Fresh Kiwi