So, what the fuck is a shrub? Not in the botanical sense… I don’t mean the plant, or, tree, or whatever. I’m talking about the cocktail, or drink designated as a “shrub”… According to Trader Vic:
“Where they got their name is a puzzle, but shrubs are concoctions of stewed fruit, brandy or rum, sugar, sometimes lemon juice, berries and heavily-flavored fruits, all brewed together and set aside for a designated length of time. Then they’re strained and bottled, ready for use. Usually served hot, they are good cold-weather drinks, but refreshing warm-weather drinks may also be made.”
So, yeah, that sounds pretty gross. Upon further digging, I found a shrub can also be a fruit preserved and bottled in vinegar… basically pickled fruit. Apparently it was some sort of “old timey” thing, which is a technical term. So yeah, that also sounds gross. But since I was making a metric assload of rhubarb syrup for the picnic this weekend, I figured I’d make a side batch of Rhubarb Shrub. Shit yes I did.
1 lb. Rhubarb (about 10 stalks)
3 c. water
3 c. sugar
1.5 c. white vinegar
Dice the rhubarb finely, and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. After that, add sugar and vinegar. Allow mixture to cool a bit, strain thru a fine strainer, working the pulp with a spoon to extract as much syrup as possible, and discard the pulp. Bottle for better times.
I ended up with about 32 oz. of lovely, tart syrup. It’s really quite remarkable what a difference a bit of vinegar makes. So much so that I basically scrapped my plan for this weekend’s Rhubarb Rum Punch, and am instead going to make a Rhubarb Shrub Rum Punch. So fucks yeas.