Monday, September 8, 2014

Shrub

Sometimes, all it takes is a bowl of luscious strawberries . . .


Ever since our visit to Philadelphia three years ago, I've been intrigued by schrub - a refreshing beverage with which our 18th century founding fathers quenched their thirst . . .


We first tried a shrub at City Tavern, an establishment known to the likes of George Washington, Paul Revere, and many other notables of the period.  Click here to read more about our visit to this delightful restaurant.  Also, here's the link to their website:   http://www.citytavern.com/


Are you a history buff?  I am, and really, haven't you ever wondered what people drank when it was hot out, with no refrigeration available?  I've always had a hard time drinking plain water, and lemon water is delightful, but sometimes you want something different . . . When all these strawberries came my way, it seemed like the perfect time to learn how to make shrub, and, naturally, the internet made it very easy!

First, a concentrated syrup is made using fruit, sugar and apple cider vinegar.  There are as many different ways of making it as there are bartenders.  But I found this website that explained the Cold Method, and, since I really didn't want to heat up my kitchen, I decided to give it a try.

The website gives an exhaustive explanation of the process, and I urge you to go to it if you decide to make shrub.  Roughly, I added sugar to some hulled and quartered strawberries . . .


Then I refrigerated it, covered, for a couple of days, and ended up with a great deal of syrup. 


I strained it, added vinegar and refrigerated it for a few more days . . .


That's it!  The syrup was done!  Now it could be mixed with Pellegrino, like I did, or ginger ale, or rum . . . or champagne, as George Washington preferred . . .


The taste is a bit unusual and not something to which we are accustomed in the 21st century.  If you like vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar, then you'll really enjoy it.  I found it light, a bit tart and very refreshing . . .  Give it a try.  If you don't care to drink it, you can use the remaining syrup as a marinade for chicken!


Somehow, I feel a little bit closer to Ben Franklin today . . .

6 comments:

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Hi Maria! Yes, I am a huge history buff and we have enjoyed shrub at Colonial Williamsburg several times. I can remember making some when my daughter was little while reading the American Girl books (one of them was Felicity who grew up in colonial days.) I think we added a huge dose of sugar, as I recall. Those strawberries look delicious!! Hope all is well with your boys! Linda

Pam Greer said...

There are several shrub recipes in a homemade soda book that I have. We've tried a few and love them!

Zuni, Chickadee Home Nest said...

Well, another good reason to read blogs! I've never heard of schrub, Maria, but it sounds wonderful--even without the vinegar, if one chooses! I can't wait to try it! I've been wanting one of those darling bowls--I saw them at Anthropologie and you'll never guess why I didn't buy one: I couldn't decide if I wanted a white one or a teal one. OMG...LOL.

Beautiful picture of those luscious berries! Can't wait to have you and Lee at our home!!

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Oh dear Maria...primero: Que emocion de verte por mi casa, amiga querida, gracias a montones!
Ok, I totally love American history and I so admire it, specially the Founding Fathers of the country.
The strawberry's look yum and the syrup too! Thanks for the recipe idea.
Cariños a tu esposo e hijos,
FABBY

Alycia Nichols said...

This is a whole new one on me! I have never heard of it. My husband is the history buff in the family, but even he had never heard of it. (Maybe because he doesn't really pay very much attention to the food side of history. He's a "super nerd"!!!) I often quarter, sugar and refrigerate strawberries for the syrup to use in ice cream shakes, sodas, etc., but have never heard of adding the cider vinegar. Interesting! I'm sure it keeps well with the addition of the vinegar.

Strawberries are past their prime here and back up to ridiculous prices, but I'll remember this for next year to give it a try. I think I like George Washington's way!!! :-)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Nicki said...

Love history but must admit I have not approached it from the direction of drink (except perhaps moonshine - which is disgusting by the way). Sweeten it up and I'm on board.

Love the Crate & Barrel bowl - perfect for summer.

If you see Angela, tell her hi. Was thinking about her the other day and how she inspired me to start blogging (miss the Doug shenanigans).

Have a great weekend.