Turns out, the first step to making a shrub is to douse your fruit in sugar and let it sit around in the fridge for a few more days, so I proceeded with my original plan, adding a handful of lemon peels that had conveniently prepared for cocktails and left in the fridge. After a day or two of maceration, the juices get mixed with an approximately equal amount of cider vinegar, and popped back in the fridge. Now, 10 days later, I have a jar of intensely sweet-and-sour pink juice that can be added to anything that needs a flavor boost. I actually really like it on its own, although only in small doses, but since today is the first day of my Maine vacation, I decided to make a celebratory champagne cocktail with it. A little of the shrub, a dash of bitters, top the glass of with champagne, and you have a sophisticated and not-too-sweet twist on champagne and strawberries.
This recipe is not precise in any sense of the word, so don’t feel constrained by it. Mix up the fruit, mix up the type of vinegar, let sit in the fridge for longer, mix it with something other than champagne… experiment and see what works for you.
Makes about 2 cups.
- 2 c. hulled and quartered fresh strawberries
- 1 c. sugar
- peel from 2 lemons, white pith completely removed
- 1 c. apple cider vinegar
- Stir together the chopped strawberries, sugar, and lemon peel in a large bowl. Cover tightly and let sit in the fridge for 2-3 days, stirring briefly every 24 hours.
- Strain the juice from the fruit mixture. Stir the juice together with the apple cider vinegar. Place the juice-vinegar mixture in the fridge in a covered jar. Let sit in the fridge for at least 4 days before tasting – the flavors will mellow with time. Will keep in the fridge for several weeks.
Strawberry Champagne Shrub
- 3 TBS strawberry-lemon shrub, recipe above
- 2 dashes cranberry bitters
- 3/4 c. chilled champagne or prosecco
- 1 small strawberry, for garnish.
- Add the shrub and bitters to a tall glass. Top off with prosecco, drop a strawberry in, and serve immediately.