Since we’re in the season of fresh fruit, it’s seems like an appropriate time to start talking shrubs again. Not only are shrubs an excellent way to preserve excess fruit, they also taste great when mixed with booze. And that’s what we really care about, right? So, let’s get this summer going with a batch of blackberry thyme shrub!
If you’re new to making shrubs, I highly recommend the book Shrubs by Michael Dietsch. It covers everything from the history of shrubs to the ingredients used and a variety of recipes for making your own. Definitely a good book to have on the shelf.
This blackberry thyme shrub takes a little over a week to make, but it doesn’t require a lot of your time. The blackberries and sugar sit overnight. The vinegar and thyme infuses overnight. The two come together and need about a week to meld. Don’t try and skimp on this time, you want it to take away the strong vinegar taste.
Once it’s all done, enjoy it as a non-alcoholic drink by mixing with soda water or booze it up with vodka or gin and soda water! Want more shrub recipes? Check out the raspberry shrub and rhubarb shrub – they are both great mixed with gin.
- 1 cup blackberries, preferably organic
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- 5 fresh thyme sprigs
- Add blackberries to a medium bowl and cover with sugar. Gently mash the berries with a spoon, a muddler or your hands and stir. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- After placing the blackberries in the fridge, pour apple cider vinegar into a measuring glass (or other small bowl) and add the thyme sprigs. Cover and let sit overnight to infuse (this does not need to be refrigerated).
- Strain the blackberries and sugar mixture using a mesh strainer, pressing lightly on the solids to release the juice as needed. Be sure to scrape any leftover sugar in the bowl into the strainer as well.
- Remove the thyme sprigs from the vinegar and pour the vinegar into the blackberry sugar syrup. Stir with a whisk to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a glass bottle, put the lid on and place in the refrigerator to finish the melding of flavors. Check the shrub once a day, shaking the bottle as needed to combine the sugar. Over time, the sugar will dissolve.
- After a week, start tasting the shrub. Once it has a nice fruit flavor without an overwhelming kick of vinegar, it's ready to enjoy.
- To drink, add an ounce to a glass, fill with ice and top with soda water. To make it boozy, add 1-1/2 ounces of vodka or gin.
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