We all had a great time at Mini Makers Faire this year!
There were a lot of curious people walking up and asking what a “shrub” is and about drinking vinegars in general. It seems that a lot of people mention to us that they have an older relative who drinks vinegar as a health tonic, but thought it was not something they would wanted to try. After trying a craft shrub soda, we changed their minds!
The term “shrub” goes back to the Colonial days, but it originated in England. In the 17th century, vinegar was used in the preservation of berries and other fruits. Fruit preserves made in this fashion were themselves known as shrubs, and it was brought over to colonial America.
By the 19th century, recipes for shrubs used vinegar poured over fruit and left to infuse anywhere from overnight up to several days. The fruit was strained, sweetener was added, and then it was cooked until it was reduced to a syrup like consistency. The sweet tart syrup could be mixed with either water or soda water and served as a soft drink, or it could be used as a mixer in alcoholic cocktails.