Happy spring y’all. Happy or not so happy crazy March weather. I’d be lying if I said I miss those surprise 1foot of snow blizzards of the North East United States. It’s been a pretty busy month on the home front. I’ve been traveling (hello Hawaii) for work, preparing food swaps, planning pickle contests, writing for the local Indy Week food column, and on top of it all gearing up for a move. Oh, and did I mention writing for (stay tuned… guest posts) and prepping shrubs for the Food in Jar’s Mastery Challenge?
If you’re anything like me and, I dunno, half the female population you’ve probably gone through the super health fad of waking up to a shot of Bragg apple cider vinegar. Tasty… well anyways, before this month’s shrub challenge I wasn’t too familiar with drinking shrubs. The horribly shrubbery in my grandmothers front yard, yes. But fruit, vinegar, and sugar? Yum. A pre-made cocktail additive, with vinegar. Double yum! I decided to play with the tried and true combination of fresh strawberries and rhubarb, then made it weird by adding basil. I love strawberry balsamic reduction sauces, so I opted for a half white balsamic vinegar, half apple cider vinegar. The result: a sweet and tangy drinking vinegar. Because I couldn’t not work in a cocktail… for demonstration purposes only… I subbed in 3/4 oz of this strawberry rhubarb basil shrub into a classic whiskey sour shrub, recipe below. Oh man, so good, but geesh what a mess I made…
Whiskey Shrub Sour
- 2 oz rye whiskey
- 3/4 oz strawberry rhubarb basil shrub
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- dash of Peychaud’s bitters
- fresh strawberry
- Combine all ingredients (except bitters) in a cocktail shaker
- Fill shaker 2/3 with ice
- Shake until frost begins to form on outside of shaker
- Strain over ice in a chilled glass
- Garnish with bitters and fresh strawberries
But wait, before you toss your sugar heaven laden fruit pulp consider retaining it for muffins, ice cream topping, or modify Julie’s super easy sweet bread recipe by adding a cup of fruit pulp. What a great accompaniment to my fruit shrubs for tonight’s March Bull City Food Swap.
- 5 cups strawberries (hulled and quartered)
- 2 cups rhubarb (finely diced)
- 4 Tbsp minced basil
- 6 cup sugar
- 3-1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 3-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Mix the strawberry, rhubarb, basil, and granulated sugar in a large bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2-4 days, stirring every 12 hours.
- Strain the liquid/syrup, pressing down hard on solids using a fine mesh strainer.
- Mix the syrup with vinegars and pour into jars and refrigerate.
- Use shrub immediately, or wait a couple weeks until the flavors deepen, meld, and harmonize.