This month, The Food Mastery Challenge was to make either jelly or a shrub. I thought about making jelly but decided against it because:
- I have tons of jelly in my pantry
- I make jelly all the time so it wouldn’t be much of a challenge
- If I was going to make jelly, I would want to use something unique, and home grown like dandelion jelly but currently my property is covered with this white stuff:
The idea if a drinking vinegar or a shrub was just too weird to pass up.
An article in The Huffington Post defines a shrub as:
…basically a choose-your-own-adventure, no-rules type of recipe, perfect for scofflaws and anarchists.
Who can pass up a recipe like that!
I used the recipe for a Blueberry Ginger Shrub from The Food in Jars website as I had all the ingredients on hand.
A shrub is based on a 1:1:1 ratio of fruit, sugar, and vinegar. Additional seasoning can be added to enhance the flavor of the fruit.
- 1 cup blueberries, I used frozen berries from the depth of my freezer. Fresh is, of course, preferred.
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar – I used the cheap stuff that I had on hand. Using an unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother, like the one made by Braggs, would improve the health benefits of this drink.
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 inch piece of ginger grated
This has to be one of the easiest ways there is to preserve fruit.
In a 1 liter jar crush blueberries, add sugar and vinegar.
Grate in ginger.
Steep in the fridge for several days.
and store in the fridge for 6 months or so. Add 1/3 cup of shrub syrup to 2/3 cup of water. Sparkling water is nice.
I added 1/3 cup of shrub to 2/3 cup of sparking water (on sale at my store today – how convenient!). I have to admit I was skeptical. I caught a whiff of vinegar as soon as I put the glass to my lips. “That’s interesting,” I thought after my first sip. I continued sipping and my liking for this drink grew. I found that it was very refreshing and quenched my thirst.
The Man was not a fan. He took one whiff, said, “that’s disgusting,” and declined further involvement in my experiment.
I think this is one of those you either love it or you hate it drinks.
I have never seen a shrub for sale in a Canadian supermarket, and I know for sure that our little backwoods market does not sell them. Consequently, I cannot calculate how much money I would save by making my own shrubs instead of buying them.
|Ingredient||Cost (March 2017)|
|Blueberries: The price for this ingredient can range drastically from free to $9.00 for 600 grams of frozen berries. Mine were frozen after I picked them at a local u-pick place at $3.00 a pound.||$0.75|
|Apple Cider Vinegar: $5.78 per liter at my little grocery store||$1.46|
|Sugar: on sale this month for $4.99 for a 4kg (10 pound) bag||$0.25|
|2 inch piece of grated ginger||$0.25|
Total for 400ml
Total per serving
Will I do it again?
Definitely. The Man was not a fan but I did like it. I think that this drink has so much potential. I can’t wait to try out combinations using locally foraged fruits and berries.
Maybe something with thimble berries? Saskatoons? Huckleberries? The possibilities are endless.
And yes, you know this had to happen:
Go ahead – try a drinking vinegar. You may be pleasantly surprised.