I have a terrible confession to make: I’m actually sort of a sucker for soda pop. Since most soda is sweetened with genetically modified high fructose corn syrup, I tend to avoid the store-bought stuff, but lately I’ve been into making homemade sodas as a treat from time to time.
Sugary drinks are far from healthy, and you should definitely stick to even homemade sodas in moderation. As a sometimes treat, though, a fruit shrub is a lovely indulgence! The name is a little bit deceiving – this drink doesn’t contain a lot of fruit, and certainly not a whole shrub’s worth. When you’re talking about beverages, a “shrub” is actually a tangy, fruity syrup that you can mix with carbonated water to create homemade sodas. A splash of booze in that ain’t too bad either!
Fruit Shrub Ingredients
- 1 cup juice of your choice. I made the shrub pictured above from red naval oranges, but you can use berry, citrus, or any other fruit juice you like.
- 1 cup sugar, or sweetener of your choice. If you use a liquid sweetener, cut back to 1/2 cup.
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar.
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a glass jar, close the lid, and shake well until all of the sugar is dissolved. If the sugar is being very stubborn, you can heat the mixture in a small pan on low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely.
2. To make a drink, just spoon about 2 tablespoons of your shrub syrup into a tall glass, and top it off with seltzer. You can add 1 oz. of rum or vodka, if you’re feeling really festive, too!
I know, the vinegar might sound like an odd ingredient, but it adds a nice tang to offset the sugar and the sweetness from the juice. If you’re hesitant about the vinegar, you can reduce the amount to 3/4 cup at first. You can always add more vinegar next time, if it turns out you want a little bit more tanginess.
Have any of you guys whipped up a fruit shrub at home? I’d love to hear what sort you made and how you liked it!
Image Credit: Photo by Becky Striepe