So I kind of have an embarrassing admission about this recipe. It actually took me two tries to make it because I made a massive screw up the first time. I've been hearing about shrubs for a few months now in the various food magazines and blogs that I read and I wanted to give it a go for myself. A shrub is vinegar-ed syrup made with fruit that can be added to beverages. Because it has a high acid level (due to the vinegar) it works well in cocktails or just sparkling water. I love sour drinks so I knew I had to try.
Since it's fall I decided to go with a fruit I don't normally use in cooking or baking - Concord grapes. I love the smell of fresh grapes and it was wonderful having them in my apartment the days leading up to me actually making the shrub. I found that making a shrub is really easy, but it takes a while just because the fruit needs to soak overnight and then for a week once the vinegar is added. Unfortunately, the first time I tried this I mistakenly added OLIVE OIL instead of vinegar to the grape mixture. What was I thinking?? It was seriously one of the most idiotic things and I tried unsuccessfully to scrape the olive oil off the top before throwing the towel in and walking to a nearby farmers market to buy more grapes. It was worth it though because I love it and am currently drinking it with some seltzer right now! The smell of vinegar is a bit strong and off putting, but it blends into the grape taste and is actually super refreshing. Thanks to Pat for taste testing as well - and agreeing with my assessment! I'll definitely be making more of these with different fruits.
Concord Grape Shrub
- 3 cups of fresh Concord Grapes
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cups of white wine vinegar
Wash and clean grapes and put into a medium sized bowl. Pour sugar over grapes and crush until everything is mixed together and you see juices. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Strain liquid out of grape mixture using a fine strainer and into a jar, making sure to press down with the back of a large spoon so that all the liquid is released. Once you've done that for all of grape mixture, pour in vinegar. Seal the jar and let the mixture sit for one week.
Serve shrub with seltzer, ice, and mint garnish. You can also use the syrup in a cocktail of your choice!