MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS
2 cups hulled and quartered washed
1½ cups granulated sugar
10 cracked peppercorns
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
Combine the strawberries, sugar
and peppercorns in a bowl. Mix to
thoroughly combine. Cover and
refrigerate for 1 to 2 days. Pour the
syrup through a fine-meshed sieve
into a bowl, pressing down on the
strawberries to extract all the juice.
Discard the strawberries. Scrape
any remaining sugar into the syrup.
Whisk the vinegars into the syrup.
Pour the syrup into a clean glass
jar and refrigerate indefinitely. The
sharpness will mellow with time.
To serve: Combine 1 part shrub
and 2 to 3 parts water or sparkling
water in a glass with a squeeze of
lime. For cocktails: Try blending
1 part shrub to 1 part tequila to 2
parts sparkling water with a good
squeeze of lime.
Strawberry, Peppercorn and Balsamic Shrub
A shrub is a syrup composed of fruit, sugar and vinegar. Also known as
drinking vinegar, shrubs are an old-fashioned method for preserving fruit, by
mixing soft ripe fruit with vinegar and sugar, then letting it sit for a few days
to mingle and macerate before straining out the solids. Nowadays shrubs
are enjoying a resurgence, back in vogue as a cleansing refreshment as well
as a flavorful syrup for cocktails. The combination options are numerous
and open to creative inspiration, but bear in mind a few rules of thumb: use
ripe, soft fruit such as berries and stone fruit at the peak of season and wash
thoroughly. Blend with a fruity vinegar, such as apple cider or wine vinegar.
Experiment with adding fresh herbs, such as thyme, basil, mint or rosemary,
which can nicely complement the fruit. Serve with sparkling water as a
sprightly soda or add a splash to cocktails for a nice kick.