If you’ve never tried a shrub before, this simple recipe will introduce you to a Strawberry-Basil Shrub, an easy and delicious summer beverage treat.
What exactly is a “shrub”? Phoebe Canakis of Phoebe’s Pure Food explained this beverage at a cooking class at Weaver’s several years ago. She said it’s a beverage that originated in colonial days and is now making a comeback. In early America, it offered refreshment for farmers—“like Gatorade.” Shrubs are a way to preserve fruit—an alternative to canning.
This tangy and refreshing fruit syrup is preserved with vinegar and can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
Although this Strawberry-Basil Shrub recipe uses strawberries, cherries, peaches, pears and berries are all great options. Experiment by adding other flavors like peppercorns, ginger or citrus peels.
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup raw honey* or sugar
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped)
- Sparkling mineral water
- In a quart-size glass jar combine strawberries, vinegar, honey and basil leaves. Place the covered jar in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Use a fine mesh colander to strain out the basil and strawberry. Combine ¼ cup shrub and 1 cup of sparkling mineral water in a glass over ice.