EdibWasa — Summer 2013
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Simply Summer: Fruit Shrub

As the hot summer days set in and the fruit trees are kicking out more goodness that you can handle, it's time to shake the tree and make a shrub! Shrubs (from the Arabic word sharāb, meaning "to drink") is simply a syrup made from fruit, sugar and vinegar. Shrubs are a very old preservation method and are arguably the progenitors of America's modern day soda pop. They're also an ideal way to use overripe or damaged fruits while fully extracting their flavor. And and they're a snap to make!

The sweet results form the base for fruity soda pops (just add carbonated water) that can be enjoyed now and all year long. A table spoon or two of a fruit shrub in a tall glass of soda water is irresistible and has far less sugar than a commercial soda. For a more grown up version, substitute sparkling wine for the water - or add them to a favorite cocktail.

Berries & soft fleshed stone fruits are super for making shrubs because they break down quickly and produce a lot of juice, but you can use any kind of fruit you have on hand. This recipe is the perfect place to use a kitchen scale. Weigh out the fruit you have and then weigh out equal parts sugar and vinegar.

BASIC SHRUB

One part fruit
One part sugar
One part vinegar

Wash & cut up the fruit and put into a bowl or a jar large enough to contain all of your ingredients. Add the sugar and stir or mash it with the fruit until it's evenly distributed. Cover with cheese cloth or a kitchen towel to protect it from fruit flies and leave it to macerate - at room temperature for a few hours or overnight - until the fruit has broken down and become juicy.

Add the vinegar to the fruit and sugar mixture – apple cider vinegar or any kind of wine vinegar, not distilled vinegar. Stir or shake until the sugar is completely dissolved. Strain off the liquid and discard the solids. Store your shrub in a bottle in the refrigerator and enjoy for up to a year.
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