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Old 12-09-2010, 08:04 AM   #1
maztec
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Default Drinking Vinegar / Vinegar Shrub / Shrub / Vinegar Syrup

Has anyone here ever made a vinegar shrub from scratch? There are a handful of recipes online, but most involve using premade vinegar or just put some sweet syrup out and let it go off.... I am wanting a recipe that is a bit more controlled than that.

A vinegar shrub is a syrup made from/with vinegar, usually fruit vinegar, that is intended for mixing with soda/vodka/etc and making into a drink. I find them very tasty, but ridiculously hard to find, and have been thinking of making my own lately. In fact, I am tempted to make a larger batch and bottle it for my alcohol-free friends (heaven forbid).

So, any tips or thoughts on this that others could give would be great.

Here are a few links to other people talking about shrubs:

Cranberry Shrub: http://www.learntopreserve.com/whats-cooking-in-my-kitchen/2010/11/21/sweet-sour-cranberry-syrup-and-cranberry-drinking-vinegar-ma.html

Vague description of how shrubs are made: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/roundup-food-radio/good-food-with-evan-kleiman-vinegar-that-you-drink-073094

Raspberry shrub recipe, using premade vinegar: http://www.homemade-dessert-recipes.com/raspberry-vinegar-recipes.html
Another Raspberry Shrub: http://toddwagner.me/?p=40

A company that makes and sells shrubs:
http://www.sageandseafarms.com/

2008 NYTimes article on shrubs: (google cache used because main site has a weird flash overlay)
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:a2H0-PmsD3MJ:www.nytimes.com/2008/11/09/style/tmagazine/09cecchiniw.html+%22dropping+acid%22+cecchini&cd=1 &hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Right! That's about it, I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has done this, as I'm thinking of doing my first one soon and looking for a proper recipe that isn't merely "add fruit to vinegar".

Best,


- M

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Old 12-10-2010, 11:39 PM   #2
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Using premade vinegar is the correct way to make a shrub from scratch; the time it sits is for flavour extraction, not fermentation.

If you want to make a fruit vinegar from scratch, it's basically the same as any vinegar. Make a wine like you would normally for that type of fruit, but leave it exposed to the air and (optionally) inoculate it with Acetobacter from unpasteurised vinegar.

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Old 12-11-2010, 02:18 AM   #3
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flowerysong:

Interesting. The reason I had asked about making the vinegar as a first step was a result of a conversation I had with an elderly friend whose mother apparently used to make shrubs. According to her, her mother would make a base vinegar out of the fruit or a fruit that she felt would complement the fruit she would add during the flavor extraction process. I believe the theory was that way you were able to get every degree of flavor and could age your vinegar so that it isn't as harsh as many store bought vinegars.

I don't suppose you have a good shrub recipe and a recommendation for the base vinegar?

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Old 12-11-2010, 07:49 PM   #4
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Right. But making the vinegar and making the shrub are still two totally distinct processes, even if your premade vinegar is homemade. Vinegar is fairly easy to make, as I said; expose wine or beer to air for an extended period and you're pretty much guaranteed to end up with vinegar.

I've only made shrubs a couple of times, so I don't really have a tried and true recipe. Apple cider vinegar is a good base.

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Old 12-11-2010, 10:22 PM   #5
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So, basically, there is no controlled way to make vinegar. Just let nature take its course.

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Old 12-11-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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I've never made vinegar myself, but am with you on using them in sodas. I've yet to try a shrub, but make molasses and vinegar switchel that is absolutely delicious!

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Old 12-11-2010, 11:20 PM   #7
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Mmmm, a switchel sounds good. What's your recipe, if you don't mind sharing?

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Old 12-12-2010, 09:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maztec View Post
Mmmm, a switchel sounds good. What's your recipe, if you don't mind sharing?
It's the one from the Cresswell book:

3-4 quarts water
1/2 apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup light molasses
2 ounces fresh grated ginger

Combine 1 quart water , vinegar, sugar, molasses and ginger and simmer uncovered ( I usually simmer about 20 minutes). Remove from heat, cover and cool. Combine with 2 1/2 quarts in a glass jug or other suitable container and then top off to make one gallon.

I've served it both carbed and uncarbonated. Hmm, this has me thinking that I should make a batch of this for Christmas!
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:33 PM   #9
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Combine with 2 1/2 quarts of what?

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Old 12-24-2010, 03:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Combine with 2 1/2 quarts of what?
Water. That should bring you close to your gallon mark, but you'll probably need to top off just a little.
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