If you’re looking for a new way to use your harvest, look no further than the shrub. This classic beverage mixer has seen a recent resurgence, and why it ever went out of fashion in the first place, we’ll never know. It’s so easy to make, and you can customize it to your favorite seasonal flavors.
Yield: about 1¼ cups
- 1 cup blackberries
- 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh spearmint leaves, torn
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Place the berries in a medium bowl with a lid.
Pour in the sugar. (Use 3/4 cup for sweet berries and 1 cup for tart berries.) Add the mint leaves. Use a potato masher to gently mash the berries and work in the mint. Cover with the lid, and refrigerate for eight to 12 hours.
Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the berries and sugar into the strainer, and leave to drain for one to two hours. Use a spoon to move around the pulp to extract as much juice as possible. Strain until the pulp yields at least 3/4 cup of juice. Discard the pulp, and pour the juice into a quart-sized mason jar. Add the vinegar, secure the lid and shake well.
Store in the refrigerator for five to seven days, shaking every day or so. To serve, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the shrub to your favorite soda water or cocktail.
This article originally appeared in the September/October 2016 issue of Hobby Farms.