Food for Soul

Recipes: Blue and Black Berry Ginger Shrubs, Raspberry Hibiscus Sparklers, Spicy Melon-Mint Shrub

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

Directions

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

Directions

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.

Photo by Dennis Becker, food styling by Lisa Golden Schroeder • Special to the Star TribuneRaspberry hibiscus sparklers

Photo by Dennis Becker, food styling by Lisa Golden Schroeder • Special to the Star TribuneRaspberry hibiscus sparklers

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

Directions

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.

https://www.startribune.com/recipes-blue-and-black-berry-ginger-shrubs-raspberry-hibiscus-sparklers-spicy-melon-mint-shrub/600095020/

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