Remember having to grab a stalk of rhubarb and making all sorts of faces (Pucker up!) as you ate the first fruits of the garden for the year??
Unfortunately, sugar and rhubarb seem to go hand in hand. Wanting to have some lower sugar options, I steered away from Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Rhubarb Cake, and Rhubarb Pie. <sigh> My heart hurt.
And that brings us to Rhubarb Shrub. Is it possible I found a painless way to get a daily spoonful of vinegar??
What is a Shrub? They're rather an old fashioned drink and sometimes called "drinking vinegars". Right now your face might be a little puckered up from thinking about drinking vinegar. But they are a pleasant surprise - a sweet and tangy syrup made by combining three ingredients: fruit, sugar, and vinegar. You then use the syrup in other drinks - like water or cocktails.
In a minute you might be questioning how this is low sugar when it has a cup of sugar in it. In my defense, despite the relatively large amount of sugar used in this recipe, but only a little tiny bit is used to add to water + the benefits of vinegar. Therefore, I'm giving myself a free pass.
The recipe I followed said ... "Add the vinegar. It is ready now, but it will be better in a week or more after flavors had a chance to meld." My experience is that waiting is not optional. That is some strong vinegar at the beginning! (Pucker up!). After a couple of weeks, it's a different story. I am loving it! You taste fruit first and then at the very end of the story, you can taste the "tang" of the vinegar
There are two schools of thoughts to making shrubs - cold-processed and cooked. Follows is the no-cook method. Doing the cold method requires more time to meld, but it is super easy.
2 cups rhubarb, sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 - Combine the rhubarb and sugar in jar and place in refrigerator for 4-5 days. Stir 1-2 times a day.
2 - Strain the rhubarb juice pressing the fruit to remove as much juice as possible.
3 - Mix the vinegar and juices together and place back in the refrigerator and let the flavors meld for 2-3 weeks. You can try it earlier but be forewarned - at the beginning, you'll taste the vinegar!!!
4 - Store in the refrigerator.
How to Use:
- Add a tablespoon to a glass of water
- Add a tablespoon to seltzer/club soda
- Add a tablespoon of shrub syrup and 2 oz of sherry and top w club soda
- Add 1-1/2 ounces gin and 1 ounce shrub to a rocks glass. Fill glass with ice, top with sparkling water and squeeze in the juice from a lemon wedge.