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Shrubs, also called drinking vinegars, are restorative drinks from the Colonial days predating soda pops and sports drinks. Prior to the invention of refrigeration, a shrub syrup was a means of preserving fruit long past its picking. Shrubs were popular in Colonial America, mixed with cool water to provide a pick-me-up on hot summer days. A proper shrub has a flavor that's both tart and sweet, so it stimulates the appetite while quenching thirst. Try your chokecherry shrub over ice with club soda. Steeping time not included in preparation time..
- Wash berries and mash in a glass bowl.
- Combine vinegar and water.
- Pour over berries (solution should cover berries).
- Let stand 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Place in a large saucepan, and slowly bring the mixture to a boil.
- Boil 5 minutes.
- Strain through a jelly bag.
- Do not squeeze bag.
- For each cup juice, add 1 cup granulated sugar.
- Bring to a boil.
- Boil 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Allow to settle.
- Bottle and refrigerate for up to 6 months, or pour into sterilized jars, seal and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
- To Serve: Add to 2 - 4 tablespoons of concentrate on top of ice cubes in a glass. Fill with water, club soda, or sparkling water.