Shrubs (or drinking vingegars) are a combination of vinegar, fruit and sugar. They are super fruity, slightly sweet, and very tart. Add bubbles and it is the perfect summer drink with or without alcohol (we obviously prefer ours with gin!)
The most important thing in creating shrubs is the ratio. The perfect ratio is 1:1:1 sugar, vinegar, and fruit.
Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a medium saucepan on low heat until the sugar dissolves. Add 1 lb chopped fruit of choice. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it bubble away for 10-15 minutes. You want the syrup to be the color of the fruit. Stir in the vinegar and let simmer 1 min. Take off heat and strain. Let the shrub cool and store in a jar in your fridge.
The vinegar: White distilled vinegar is not the best option for shrub due to its strength. Apple cider is a great option but you can also use rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, and champagne vinegar. If you want balsamic vinegar flavor just add a splash paired with another vinegar but using a whole cup of balsamic would be too intense.
The sugar: White sugar is the most commonly used it shrubs but brown sugar will add depth of flavor. You can experiment with different types.
Feel free to add spices in the mixture as well! Peppercorns, cardamom, and ginger might be nice additions to the shrub.
Our favorite shrub is strawberries, apple cider vinegar with a splash of balsamic, and white sugar. To create a cocktail add one part shrub, one part vodka or gin, and two parts club soda or seltzer over ice.