Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Drinking Shrubs

Have you ever heard of shrubs?

No, not the green flowering kind that grow in the ground.  These shrubs are for drinking.  And I was lucky enough to be introduced to them by Alice of Log House Plants who is hard at work grafting tomatoes for Mighty Mato. 

"Perhaps you’ve seen a shrub described on a food blog or listed on the drink menu of a happening new restaurant. Derived from the Arabic word “sharaba” or “shariba” (meaning “to drink”), “shrub” may refer variously to a drinking vinegar alone; a soft drink made by combining drinking vinegar with soda water; or a cocktail in which a drinking vinegar is used as a mixer; but basically a shrub is a beverage made using a drinking vinegar as one of its ingredients. A drinking (or sipping) vinegar is a concentrated, sweetened fruit- or vegetable-infused vinegar."

Alice brought 5 delicious shrubs to the Ohio Short Course this weekend for us to taste.  From vanilla pear to strawberry coconut, some of the combinations were out of this world!

Visit her website for more recipes.

Alice says, as a summer beverage, this funny-sounding concoction is surprisingly refreshing – the sweet fruitiness combined with the acidity of the vinegar and the fizz of the soda water make it a satisfying thirst quencher for a hot day, as well as an especially nice non-alcoholic option that still has some kick.

And if you make the drinking vinegar at home, you can put those extra fruits and vegetables to good use, preserving the bright flavors and colors of summer’s harvest. Because you begin by smashing the fruit anyway, drinking vinegar is an ideal use for your less-than-perfect pickings or bargain “seconds” found at the farmer’s market.

And read more about Mighty Mato here and here and here.

-Katie @KatieGMG

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