SEPTEMBER 8, 2021 — 11:06AM
Blue and Black Berry Ginger Shrubs
Makes about 2 3/4 cups syrup.
Note: Feel free to play with the ratio of berries, depending on what is ultra-ripe and available. Late-harvest fruit is especially flavorful. I’ve even subbed in the last of the plums from my tree, pitting and chopping them up to stir in with a handful of berries. I prefer to use organic cane sugar, but granulated sugar works just as well. From Lisa Golden Schroeder.
• 1 pint (2 c.) fresh blueberries
• 1 c. fresh blackberries
• 1 1/2 c. organic cane sugar (see Note)
• 2 c. unfiltered apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 c. coarsely grated fresh ginger
• 2 sprigs fresh lemon verbena or a few pieces of bruised lemongrass, if desired
Place berries in a glass bowl or large canning jar. Crush the berries with the back of a wooden spoon, muddler or potato masher until they’re pulpy.
Pour in sugar and vinegar; stir in ginger and mix well. Add the sprigs of herb, if using. Cover the bowl or seal the jar tightly. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 4 days.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a clean bottle or jar.
Store the syrup in the fridge for up to 1 month. Serve a small amount over ice, topped with sparkling water, or use in cocktails.
Raspberry Hibiscus Sparklers
Makes about 3 cups syrup.
Note: Look for the hibiscus petals in Latin grocery stores, where they’re labeled flor de Jamaica. They impart a deep crimson hue and floral essence that melds nicely with the fresh raspberries. From Lisa Golden Schroeder.
• 1 1/2 c. water
• 1 c. dried hibiscus petals (see Note)
• 1 pint (2 c.) fresh raspberries
• 1 c. honey or agave syrup
• 1 c. red-wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
• 2 sprigs fresh Thai basil or lavender, if desired
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the hibiscus petals; remove from heat and allow the petals to steep for 30 minutes.
Strain the liquid into a large jar (discard the flower petals). Add the berries, honey, vinegar and lemon zest. Lightly mash the berries with a wooden spoon or muddler. Add the herb, if using.
Seal the jar; refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 4 days.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a clean jar. Refrigerate the syrup for up to 1 month. Serve a small amount over ice with sparkling water with additional berries and herb sprigs.
Spicy Melon-Mint Shrub
Makes about 2 1/2 cups syrup.
Note: Add thin slices of fresh Fresno or jalapeño peppers to each glass to bump up the spice. Nectarines, peaches or mango would all be nice twists if you’re without a ripe melon. To more quickly develop the flavors, purée the melons in a blender. Then mix with the remainder of the ingredients. From Lisa Golden Schroeder.
• 2 1/2 c. cubed ripe cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon (see Note)
• 1 1/2 c. honey or coconut sugar
• 2 c. white-wine vinegar
• 3 large fresh mint sprigs
• 6 black peppercorns
• 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Place melon in a large glass bowl or canning jar. Crush melon with the back of a wooden spoon, muddler or potato masher.
Stir in honey and vinegar; mix well. Add mint, peppercorns and pepper flakes.
Cover or seal tightly; refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 4 days, stirring (or shaking, if in a jar) occasionally.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a clean jar. Refrigerate the syrup for up to 1 month. Serve a small amount over ice with sparkling water.