Have you ever had a glass of raspberry shrub? Blackberry or strawberry shrub? Any kind of shrub? If you are like me, you have only thought of shrubs as plants someplace between grass and trees. In reality, at the turn of the last century, shrubs were as tied with lemonade as the most popular drinks.
Here is how you make a shrub:
1. Cover four quarts of raspberries with white vinegar and let stand for two to three days.
2. Drain the vinegar, pressing all of the juice from the berries as you do so.
3. Add one pound of sugar to each quart of the drained liquid.
4. Boil for ten minutes and then bottle.
The result is a concentrate that is added to ice water at a ratio of one cup of concentrate to one quart of water.
Vinegar? How does a drink with vinegar go down? Surprisingly well. After a couple swallows, you have forgotten the vinegar entirely. I thought it was really refreshing though, I think I would cut back a little on the concentrate when I make it.
During their day, shrub's were commonly given to farm hands working in the field to refresh them. Think of a shrub as the Gatorade of its day.