This week our summer inspired recipe comes in the form of an age old creation, the classic shrub syrup. A twist on the sugar syrup recipes often used in cloudy lemonade or for the base of cocktails, this recipe counts on the vibrant flavours of summer fruits and a few unusual ingredients to create its mouthwatering flavour.
The First – Vinegar, usually found on fish and chips or used in salad dressing – so what is it doing in a sweet summery drink? Well it seems the acidic and tangy nature balances out the toot sweet flavour perfectly, or so the food blogosphere says.
The Second – Peppercorns, again we question who came up with recipe but we are reassured it is a taste sensation and as far as the old saying goes – you never know if you like something until you try it.
The odd ingredients aside, this syrup is made up with a large helping of fresh fruit, ripe from the picking and packed full of flavour. Tailor to your own tastes, we found recipes with peaches, pineapple, rhubarb and blackberries, the essential however is strawberries, so go grab yourself a heap and we’ll get to the recipe.
A twist on the recipe found on Fudge Ripple, this recipe from Reclaiming Provincial has our taste buds salivating already.
1 1/4 cups of ripe strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and sliced
1/2 cup of rhubarb, cleaned and sliced
1/4 cup of pineapple, sliced (if you don’t want to bother with pineapple, feel free to replace this with another 1/4 cup of rhubarb or strawberries)
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
10 black peppercorns, slightly crushed
1 cup of balsamic vinegar (make sure you use a decent quality balsamic)
1/2 cup cider vinegar (again, decent quality)
Combine fruit, peppercorns, and sugar in a bowl or jar, stirring to evenly-coat the fruit. Allow mixture to sit for around 1 hour, then macerate until everything is nice and broken up. Cover and let sit for 24 hours. (At room temperature is fine, but feel free to stick it in the fridge too.)
After 24 hours, macerate the mixture again, trying to crush the fruit as much as possible. At this point, you can add the vinegars immediately, or let it sit for another 24 hours. (I let mine sit for another day.)
When ready, add the vinegars and stir well. Store at room temperature for 7–9 days, giving it a good stir each day. When finished, pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, then transfer to a clean jar or container. Store syrup in the fridge.
Add soda water for a refreshing finish or for an adult twist mix with gin or tequila
go ahead, experiment!
Have a great weekend!