How was your Christmas and holiday? I made these handmade gifts and they were a hit! Did you try them? I am planning on making more herbal products in 2018 for the blog because they are so fun, easy and customizable. Today I have another herbal project that is one of my favourites. It involves fruit, honey and apple cider vinegar. Can you guess what it is?
That’s right, this recipe is a shrub. Have you heard of them? They are a sweet and acidic syrup made with fruit, herbs, vinegar and sugar. Originally inspired by herbal cordials that were used for healing, shrubs, or drinking vinegars became popular during North American colonization. It was a way to preserve fruit and flavour and would last a long time without refrigeration. When refrigerators became popular, shrubs fell out of fashion. My first experience with shrubs was a product from Wild Muskoka Botanicals. I was hooked and have been experimenting with shrubs ever since!
I enjoy the sour, tangy flavour in shrubs (it kinda brings me back to my long nights of studying in University eating only sour patch kids 😐 ) and there are endless combinations you can make with different fruits and herbs. This recipe is with citrus because well, it’s winter and citrus season is in full swing right now. I distinctly remember eating almost a whole box of clementines at Christmas when I was a child and I can’t say much has changed (I mean- they are just so addictive!). Grapefruit adds a bitterness to this drink which I like because I find I don’t get enough of that flavour. If you don’t like grapefruit or bitterness feel free to leave it out- or try oranges instead. I imagine blood oranges would look and taste really great!
I have seen many different ways to make shrubs. You can use almost any type of vinegar (I love raw apple cider vinegar) and different kinds of sweetener (I like using honey because it is a natural preservative). It is also up to you as to how much vinegar you add- If you like it tart then increase the amount of vinegar. I started with 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar but then slowly added more to my taste. Don’t be afraid of the vinegar because it really adds a great flavour that is balanced out with the very sweet fruit and honey. In my recipe I stored the mixture in the fridge but I have seen others store it on the counter (honey and apple cider vinegar are both natural preservatives). Feel free to experiment!
My favourite way to use a shrub is with soda water but it makes a great cocktail mixer. Every January I like to eliminate alcohol for at least a month and shrubs are perfect for mixing with or without alcohol making it the first thing you should try in 2018! Will you be joining in for #dryjanuary? I encourage everyone to give alcohol a break every once and awhile.
Tried the recipe? loved it? Rate it and tag #sweetlizzy on Instagram!
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Grapefruit Clementine & Rosemary Shrub
This tart and sweet syrup makes a great base for a mocktail or cocktail. Using only a few ingredients you can easily upgrade your bartender game! Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 48 hours
- Total Time: 48 hours 10 minutes
- Category: Drinks
- Cuisine: cocktail
- I cup grapefruit, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups clementines, peeled and chopped
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 cup raw honey
- 1/3 cup – 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Add the clementines, grapefruit and rosemary to a large clean, dry mason jar. Add the honey and mash the fruit with the honey with a muddler. Put a lid on the jar and put the jar in the fridge for 2-3 days. Shake the jar each day.
After 48-72 hours have passed pour the contents of the jar in a blender or food processor and pulse a couple of times. Pour the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a clean jar. Add the apple cider vinegar and mix. Put a lid on the jar (use parchment in between if the lid is metal). Let the mixture sit in the fridge for another 24 hours.
To serve pour the syrup in a glass and top with soda water. This mixes really well with vodka too 😉