Prep 15 mins
Cook 0 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.
- 1⁄2 large watermelon, blended (about 8 1/2 cups of liquid)
- 8 cups granulated sugar (or to taste)
- 1 ounce white pepper
- 4 1⁄4 cups champagne vinegar
- Puree flesh of the watermelon in a blender.
- Pour the flesh into a large bowl, then add sugar and white pepper.
- Cover and place in your refrigerator for 2 days. (You’ll begin to notice the liquid separating from the fruit.).
- Strain out solids; add champagne vinegar.
- Store, covered, in large mason jars or bottles leaving at least half an inch of head room for 1-2 weeks. (The longer the shrub ages, the more mellowed out the flavors should become. Just keep it in your refrigerator).