A Seven Jars Special Recipe
The topic of Shrub use in cocktails could be the subject of an entire book itself (in fact, it is!). Shrub was a way to preserve many different types of fresh fruit prior to the widespread use of refrigeration. Due to their widespread abundance during season, coupled with the rather short life of the ripe fruit, strawberries were a highly popular fruit to use in a shrub. All shrubs are basically a combination of fresh fruit, sugar and vinegar. The vinegar acts as a preservative and has the added value of being beneficial in many other ways. There are recipes for “cold process” shrub and “hot process” shrub; we prefer the hot process in our shrub preparation.
- In a large pot over medium heat, warm the apple cider. Add sugar. Continue to heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add in strawberries, and allow to simmer until the strawberries are soft and mushy. Now comes the tricky part; begin straining the mixture through a series of stainless steel mesh screens. Start with a larger sized mesh, working down. You can strain shrub as little or as much as you want; for a relatively clear liquid strain through a coffee filter in the last stage. We prefer to leave some of the pulp in the shrub, but it is truly optional on your part. Shrub can be stored (without refrigeration) for up to a year. For best results, heat up after straining and pour warm into mason jars; seal and store in a cool, dry place such as your storage pantry.