Today is the first of three slightly-unorthodox drink recipes that I hope will wet your appetite for a Summer cocktail (pun intended!). The shrub can be made as either a cocktail or a mocktail, the latter of which is a lot like the best homemade strawberry soda you ever tasted, and perfect picnic fare.
A shrub is a cooling colonial-era drink that was served by Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. The surprising ingredient is a dash of apple cider vinegar, which may sound off-putting, but it’s what gives the drink its sprightly taste. The strawberry base is easy to assemble, though you can use any kind of fruit to make a shrub. Think of it as the Revolutionary War-era equivalent of a soft drink (unless they added spirits to it, which would have made it more like a daiquiri.)
It’s an unusual, delicious Summer cocktail, and I hope you love it!
Strawberry Shrub (Mocktail or Cocktail)
Prep Time: 25 minutes
- 2 cups of strawberries, chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup of red wine vinegar
- sparkling water
- strawberries or mint to garnish
- Vodka (for the cocktail)
- Puree strawberries in a blender.
- Press through a strainer to catch as many seeds as possible, but don’t worry if some get through – this is not a test!
- Combine water and sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Simmer for two to three minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Stir together syrup and strawberry puree, then add vinegar.
- Put in glass container, and store in refrigerator until needed. Keeps for several days.
- To make a drink, combine 2 ounces of the strawberry mixture with 4 ounces of sparkling water.
- Add ice and garnish with fresh strawberry.
For the Cocktail:
In an old-fashioned glass, combine 2 ounces of the strawberry mixture and 2 ounces of vodka. Garnish with mint or sliced strawberries. Add ice and serve!