HFF: Raspberry Shrub


Shrub and hard cider

Ah, shrubs.  I learned about these vinegary fruity drinks quite a while ago – long before I learned of the Historical Food Fortnightly, but I never got around to making one.   I ran across a recipe for a raspberry shrub while deciding what to make for the Juicy Fruits challenge and I decided I had to make it.

Well, actually, I was torn between multiple recipes but finally settled on the shrub for a couple of reasons.  One, I need to stop randomly drinking soda.  Two, it will be a nice substitute for the ‘water enhancers’ I use randomly at work.  And three, I have a bunch of alcohol at home and no mixers other than soda.  Oh, and it will be nice to take to our weeklong camping trip in June.

I just have to say… oh my gosh, this is so yummy.  I wanted to post until I was sure it mixed well with something and it mixes delightfully well with Hornsby’s hard cider.  So delicious.

Anyway.  Let’s make the stuff.

The Challenge: #6, Juicy Fruits

The Recipe: Raspberry Shrub.  I used two different recipes and mixed them together.

1 – Raspberry Shrub from The Good Housekeeping Woman’s Home Cook Book
Arranged By Isabel Gordon Curtis.

2 – Raspberry Shrub from Buckeye Cookery, And Practical Housekeeping: Compiled From Original Recipes.

Raspberry Shrub

From Buckeye Cookery

The Good Housekeeping book didn’t scan very well, so I have not included a screen shot of it.  But the basic instructions for that recipe were to soak the raspberries overnight and in the morning strain them once with a colander, strain a second time through a cheesecloth, and then boil the remaining juice for twenty minutes.  At that time, you add an equal amount of sugar and boil for another ten minutes.

The Date/Year and Region: American, Good Housekeeping is from 1909 and Buckeye Cookery is from 1877.

One interesting thing about the Buckeye Cookery book was that it was a charity book put together to help raise funds for a new parsonage in Ohio.

Time to Complete: In total, about 25 to 26 hours.  The raspberries sat for about a full twenty four hours and it probably took me about an hour to strain and restrain and curse and think that I was doing it wrong.

Total Cost: $10.  I used two pints of raspberries that were $3.99 each, plus a new bottle of apple cider vinegar for about $2.  The sugar was already in the house.


How Did You Make It: After straining my raspberries (I don’t think I have ever written that word this much ever…) through a colander, I strained it through a tea towel as I didn’t have  any cheesecloth.  I thought I read somewhere that a flour sack towel could be used but I started to think I was mistaken.  It worked… but probably not the way it should have.  It took forever so I sort of …helped… it along and probably ended up with a little more pulp than I should have. I ended up with 1.5 cups of juice in the end.

I put the juice in a pan, added 1.5 cups of sugar, and boiled it for ten minutes.  Afterward, I poured it into a mason jar and called it good.


First straining through a colander

How Accurate Is It?: I think this is pretty darn accurate.  The only thing I didn’t do was the actual canning of the shrub.  For the small amount I had and the uncertainty of how it would taste, I didn’t feel like getting out all the supplies.


Second straining through a flour sack towel.

How Successful Was It?: I added a few teaspoons to a little bit of water and it was okay.  I added several tablespoons to a bit of hard cider and it was delicious.  Amon added a bit to a white wine and it was pretty yummy too.  I will definitely be making this again once raspberries are cheaper, and I think I might make it will a whole bunch of other fruit shrubs as time goes on.


All boiled and ready to drink.




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