Shrubs AKA Drinking Vinegars

If you love all things fermented such as kombucha, water kefir or perhaps you are trying to kick the soda habit, shubs are a fantastic way to go.

Shrubs began in Eroupe as a way to get down the more bitter and not so palatable herbs used medicinally.

I agree, it is a fabulous way to drink to your health!

I'm foremost a tea-aholic so of course I'm incorporating my left over herbal tea blend from Cardamom & Curry for this D.I.Y. herbal shrub.  This makes it easy and is using the left over, real ingredients, that Cardamom & Curry are well known for.  (They hand craft each bag of nourishing goodness and I was absolutely delighted to meet them and discover their teas!)

For today's shrub, we are using the brewed contents of Kali's Offering.

First I made a pot of kali's offering which includes Hibiscus Flowers, Cardamom, Cloves, Ginger, Lemongrass, Mint & Rose Hips.  What a power house of nutriment!

Additionally this tea has a natural, beautiful & vibrant color from the hibiscus flowers.  Pretty, eh?




Instead of tossing the once brewed herbs, let us do some more with them.  After all they still contain much nourishment to be had and let us be good stewards of the many blessings bestowed upon us, no?



We are going to toss that tea ball exploding full of re-hydrated herbs into our nice and old, antique, blue mason jar.  (Because it just looks nostalgic.)



Next I thought some fresh cherries might be a good addition to the herbs for a blend of sweet and tartness.  Plus they are in season!



And in this case I'm adding refined sugar.  1/3 cup.  You can use stevia, honey, coconut palm sugar, your choice ~ or leave it out altogether but I find it ferments much nicer with a sweetener.  (Mainly, the kiddos agree. :o)) Note, this is not the traditional way of making a shrub. 
No worries here, it is still TONS better than your store bought soda pop!          



After you have added your herbals, fruit, and sweetener, pour apple cider vinegar just to cover the ingredients.  You want to use raw, unstrained ACV for this.  The one "with the mother".  This is the active or live culture starter that will bring about the fermentation and supply your drink with good strains of pre & pro biotics, just like kombucha and kefir.  Plus we are extracting the nourishing properties of the ingredients used.

     

Lastly cap the jar and put it in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks, depending how you like it. Tasting from time to time is encouraged. 

 
When you find that you are happy with the fermenting process, strain it and use it as a syrup for cocktails, mocktails or just added to sparkling water.  You could also add it to kombucha, lemon or lime juice, just use about 1 cup of another liquid.

Some prefer to add honey to the final drink.  (Especially if you did not use a sweetener before.) Some use infused honey.  Some add it to already sweetened drinks such as lemonade.  You are the formulator here!
.。. (*˘︶˘*) .。.

Today (a week later) we are adding just a bit of the syrup to half a lemon (love lemon!).
This is my morning mocktail.  ...To get the digestive juices flowing and metabolism revving.  This one is particularly tart, sour and a bit sweet & fizzy.  MMM, me likey.   

 

Shrubs are not an exact science, there are many recipes – as many as there are combinations of vinegar, fruit, honeys, syrups, juices, healing herbs, & spices.

In conclusion; The basic & classic colonial style shrub or drinking vinegar's formula is composed from raw apple cider vinegar infused with fruit, herbs and honey.  And were meant to be paired with one's favorite spirit, in bubbly water or taken daily as a health tonic.  No matter your mixologist style,
꒰๑˃͈꒵˂͈๑꒱୭̥*゙̥♡⃛ Ɛn꒻öႸ! 



For some great recipes and learning more about shrubs, the book Wild Drinks & Cocktails: Handcrafted Squashes, Shrubs, Switchels, Tonics, and Infusions to Mix at Home by Emily Han is a fun and educational read.   


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