Elderberry Shrub

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Total Time
20mins
Prep
15 mins
Cook
5 mins

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. Don’t be surprised by the pickled taste; remember that these are meant to be blended with soda water or cocktails. Steeping time not included in preparation time.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Wash and dry the elderberries, place them in a pint-size jar or non-reactive bowl, and lightly crush using a fork or potato masher.
  2. Add vinegar and stir to combine.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, occasionally shaking the jar or stirring the contents of the bowl.
  4. Give the mixture a good shake or stir and then strain using a fine-mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth.
  5. Discard the solids.
  6. Measure the liquid.
  7. For every cup of liquid, use 1 cup of sugar.
  8. Combine liquid and sugar in a saucepan.
  9. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  10. Boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
  11. Let cool; bottle, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks (the longer it steeps, the more mellow the flavor).
  12. To serve, mix with sparking water. Start with 1 part shrub to 6 parts sparkling water and adjust to taste. The syrup may also be mixed with plain water or used in cocktails.