Fresh Apple Shrub
Shrubs or drinking vinegars (as they’ve more recently become known) are a kind of preserve in which fruit is submerged it in a combination of vinegar and sugar and allowing it to steep for a time. Eventually, you strain out the fruit solids (pressing firmly to remove the juice) so that you’re left with a sweet, highly acidic, fruity concentrate. The shrub can then be used in cocktails, stirred into sparkling water or whisked into salad dressings.
- Yields: 3 cups
1Shred apples on a box grater. Funnel the shreds into a wide-mouth quart jar. Top with apple cider vinegar and sugar. Use a narrow spoon to stir the apples, vinegar and sugar together. Apply a watertight lid and give the jar a good shake.
2Tuck the jar into the back of your refrigerator and let it sit for four or five days. Taste the liquid and if you’re happy with the balance, strain out the apple bits, making sure to press firmly to remove all the liquid. Don’t be afraid to use your (clean) hands for this step.
3Place the strained shrub in a clean jar and keep refrigerated. It is ready to use now, but will mature in flavor over time.
4Stir it into cocktails, sparkling water or use in homemade vinaigrettes and marinades.
Mrs. Wages Safety notes:
For canning safety, always consider your local altitude when calculating accurate processing times. Read this USDA guide for proper food safety and canning processing guidelines or consult the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s Guide 1 Principles of Home Canning. Also, prepare and process home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer’s instructions for sterilized jars. Keep jars hot.
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