Its not a bush. It’s for cocktails!!
In regard to how we are referencing shrubs, Wikipedia describes “a sweetened vinegar-based syrup, from which the cocktail is made; the syrup is also known as drinking vinegar.”
Nate was great at informing people of it’s origin using vinegar to preserve fruit for long travel or masking the flavor of fouled alcohol. The link to Wikipedia provides a worthwhile history. Below, Nate is going to keep it simple so you can preserve something tasty for the shorter journey from your kitchen to your cocktail glass.
This shrub is the more classic of the two. I cut up 6 pears and covered them in sugar with two sprigs of rosemary. In a covered container I let nature do its thing. Sugar draws out the juice from the pears and oils from the rosemary. After 24 hours I strained the liquids from the solids and added champagne vinegar. I like to do 2 parts juice to 1 part vinegar. The amount of juice you get from the fruit will change depending on the fruit and the seasons.
This is a faster way to make a shrub but takes a little more elbow grease. I grabbed 6 containers of strawberries and cut those in half then added the strawberries and the same amount of sugar to a high speed blender until it was a very smooth consistency. From there I strained the liquid through a fine mesh strainer. This is where the elbow grease comes in to play. I just used a small ladle to help push through all the liquid through the strainer to maximize the yield from the fruit. It takes a while, about 15 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar at the same 2 part to 1 part ratio.
These will last for 3-4 months refrigerated. They are great in cocktails or prosecco and with soda water or tonic. Some quick advice, pour your shrub into carbonated beverages, especially cava, slowly. We discovered that the vinegar and sugar can react a little harshly with the bubbles and we sadly lost some delicious bubbly to the countertop.
This is a fun way to use all of your lemons, limes and other citrus. Oleo Saccharum means oily sugar in Italian. Citrus fruits have oil in their zest. Zest is the outside colored layer of the fruit. For this batch I used 6 lemons and 4 cara cara oranges (fancy). Zest your lemons and oranges making sure not to get too much of the pith (the white part under the zest) or your mixture will become bitter. For every fruit that you zest add 2oz of sugar. So for my batch I used 10 citrus fruit and 20oz of sugar. The next day you will have a translucent liquid of almost pure citrus oil that packs a beautiful, sweet and sour flavor punch. Add this to your martinis or any other cocktail of your choosing for a more bold and well rounded flavor. Adding it to lemonade or orange juice will elevate the flavors. This is an easy trick and you really need to try it. Tasting is believing.