The rhubarb is coming in strong this spring and I still has 2 pounds in the freezer from last fall. What to do? Make shrub!
What’s a shrub you ask? Well, the source of all things, Wikipedia, says, “The word “shrub” can also refer to a cocktail or soft drink that was popular during America’s colonial era, made by mixing a vinegared syrup with spirits, water, or carbonated water. The term “shrub” can also be applied to the sweetened vinegar-based syrup, from which the cocktail is made; the syrup is also known as drinking vinegar. Drinking vinegar is often infused with fruit juice, herbs and spices for use in mixed drinks.”
Want to make your own? Here’s what you will need:
- 2 pounds of rhubarb (fresh, or frozen like mine)
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar I made last year)
- Jars for storage (Mason Jars work just fine)
Here’s the process:
I was short on time after the rhubarb thawed, so I placed it in a bowl, added the sugar, mixed and left it in the fridge for a couple days until I had time to tend to it.
Then, I placed it in a saucepan, brought it to a boil, then simmered for 5 minutes. This broke down the rhubarb pieces very nicely. I let it cool while I tended to other chores.
Once cool, I placed a strainer over a bowl, poured in the rhubarb-sugar mixture and let it strain while I tended to even more chores.
When I came back the rhubarb fibers were in the strainer and a beautiful, pink syrup was in the bowl. Now, you can stop here if you want. This isn’t a shrub, but rather a rhubarb simple syrup. It is great added to lemonade and makes it a pretty pink color. Sweet and tart and refreshing! Even better with a splash of sparkling water added, but I digress.
I added my apple cider vinegar (we’ll make some together come fall), and stirred.
Tada! Rhubarb shrub. Pretty and tasty. This can be used to flavor sparkling water and cocktails. I’ll post a cocktail recipe in the April seasonal eating post next week and link it here.