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 schrub 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?  Ive 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 schrub, 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 schrub.  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 . . .