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.
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.
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.
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.