What is a shrub? Old English shrub recipe to relive travel memories

by Aug 18, 2020Recipes

Cranberry Shrub Recipe Cover

What is a shrub? It is a flexible, creative infusion of fruit, herbs, or even vegetables mixed with sugar and vinegar that can be added to alcohol or soda water. But you can do so much more with it once you know how to make a shrub. A perfect shrub recipe and drink for history and travel buffs.


Travel Clothes We WearAdvertisement

kuhl banner ad mens best sellers


I can’t say I have stumbled across “shrubs” on any of our travels in England. But when I first saw a shrub recipe, I had to wonder, as you might, what is a shrub?

A shrub is a slightly mulled infusion of your choice of fruit, vegetables, or herbs with sugar and vinegar. Not too sweet and a bit of a subtle pucker from the vinegar, just the sweet-tart I love to add to all sorts of drinks. It’s a taste I guarantee you will love as well once you learn how to make a shrub.

Its origins per historical websites date back to 16th and 17th century England where vinegar was used to preserve fruit. American colonists decided the concept of a mulled fruit infusion was a great one for making refreshing drinks in this new, often hot and humid American climate. Once refrigeration became widespread, it wasn’t necessary to preserve fruit with vinegar, so the wonderful concept of shrubs fell out of style.

The name “shrub” allegedly stems per the Oxford Dictionary from the early 18th century Arabic word of “šariba,” meaning “to drink.”

How to make a shrub to relive travel memories

Leave it to today’s mixologists to reinvigorate the idea – and cooks globally to take them a step further. How to make a shrub? I have tried shrubs with cantaloupe, watermelon, cranberries, lemon, and lime, with either regular vinegar or apple cider vinegar, or with a blend. I have sometimes added a few herbs in the infusion, sometimes not. This old English shrub is a marvelous way to use up aging fruit while you are reliving memories of travel around the world.

Back in old English days, it was most popular to mix the syrup that resulted from the mulled infusion with seltzer or regular water for a refreshing soft drink. You could even make a warm drink with a shrub. But keep an open mind: If a shrub is good enough to be soft, why not make it hard too?

The best way to make a shrub

First things first is making your shrub: I’ll offer a solid recipe for one style I have liked, but then you get to be creative with others. The amount of sugar you add will often depend on the sweetness of the fruit, while the type or quantity of vinegar you add may be influenced simply by your own love of pucker power, or not. To start, think mostly 1:1 for sugar and vinegar but start slowly with each and see what you think, taking little tastes even prior to the short mull period.

Be forewarned to start: I’m a big “to taste” gal when it comes to cooking and creating so both the shrub – and my favorite drink made with it – have a big dollop of “to taste.”

I will admit that so far I adore my cranberry shrub the best of all I’ve made. In fact, when I add it to a drink, I invariably do a little happy dance after my first sip.

Summer Drink Cranberry Shrub Whiskey Cooler

A whiskey cooler made with a cranberry shrub. I’ll show you how to make this drink in the recipe below.

Our-Photo-Gallery-Gifts-Ad

Our award-winning photos make a perfect gift – to yourself, a friend, or a family member. Prints for a wall, on a desk, as greeting cards, cozy fleece blankets, ornaments, fridge magnets, coffee mugs, luggage tags, coasters, mouse pads and puzzles.  

Get ready for your shrub happy dance

You will find a lot of complicated recipes, but shrubs like simplicity. Enjoy my cranberry shrub recipe and a bonus whiskey cooler recipe with the cranberry shrub you’ll be making too.

 

Download the best Old English cranberry shrub recipe here

Old English Cranberry Shrub RecipeMembers of our Subscriber Club can download the best Old English cranberry shrub recipe here

Not a member of our Subscriber Club yet? It is easy and free to join. Just click on the button below. In addition to full access to our free travel book and recipe library, you will receive a monthly newsletter full of travel inspiration from award-winning travel writers and photographers.

Join our Subscriber Club

Our Most Recent Travel Stories

Things to do in Cary North Carolina: Raleigh’s fast-growing neighbor

Cary, North Carolina, offers a small-town vibe with all the benefits of a big city – culture, arts, entertainment, world-class restaurants, amid acres upon acres of greenways. Its proximity to Raleigh and RDU International Airport makes Cary a perfect stopover for any traveler.

Things to do in Cary North Carolina: Raleigh’s fast-growing neighbor

Things to do in Cary North Carolina: Raleigh’s fast-growing neighbor

Cary, North Carolina, offers a small-town vibe with all the benefits of a big city – culture, arts, entertainment, world-class restaurants, amid acres upon acres of greenways. Its proximity to Raleigh and RDU International Airport makes Cary a perfect stopover for any traveler.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove
Advertisement

Are you protected IF a travel emergency happens?

Global Rescue Travel Insurance Rescue Banner