After two root vegetable and greens filled seasons, the markets are finally overflowing with fruit. Purchasing tons of nectarines, peaches, strawberries, and cherries is especially tempting after the lack of variety at the markets in the winter. You could cut back on these purchases but the better option is to take all the fruit home, regardless of your fridge space, and make a shrub.
Shrubs are made by combining fruit with vinegar. You then cook the mixture or leave it to steep before adding sugar to tame the vinegar's acidity, bottling, and storing in the fridge. Also called drinking vinegars, shrubs can be mixed with flat or sparkling water in addition to using them in cocktails. This article has great information about the history and uses of shrubs.
Using this recipe from Food52, we made a strawberry shrub during the spring and have been drinking it nonstop. Although there are commercial shrubs and plenty of fruit infused vinegars on the market, making your own is so easy and gives you endless options for experimenting. Making our own shrub also meant we could use our favorite apple cider vinegar from Ha's Apple Farm. We never thought we'd have a preferred vinegar, but we totally do, and it is this one.
Since shrubs are bright and refreshing, they make the perfect addition to the lighter cocktails of summer. The Summer Shrubin' was created to make use of the complex, fruity, and acidic shrub while creating a low alcohol, sessionable day drink. Hey, it's summer!
This recipe makes two drinks.
1 1/2 oz. shrub
6 oz. sweet vermouth (Dolin is preferred)
4 oz. soda water
Pour vermouth and shrub into an iced cocktail shaker
Stir for 30 seconds
Strain into chilled coupe
Top with soda water