Words and Images by Emma Galloway
I don’t drink alcohol, so I’m always playing around with alcohol-free beverages that still have a celebratory air about them. Fruit shrubs (aka drinking vinegars) are one I turn to throughout the year, using all manner of seasonal fruit and flavourings. Here I’ve kept it simple with raspberries and a little orange zest, but you could use any berry you have on hand. Freshly picked blackberries make an amazing shrub if you have access to lots of them, or try blueberries, strawberries or black currants. You can increase the amount of sugar if you like things a little sweeter and, of course, if you’re making for a crowd this recipe can easily be doubled or quadrupled.
Makes approx. 1 cup syrup (4–6 drinks)
1 cup (125g) raspberries, fresh or frozen
⅓ cup raw caster sugar
zest 1 orange, finely grated
½ cup apple cider vinegar
Combine berries, sugar and zest in a bowl and mix well to combine. Cover and set aside on the bench for 2–4 hours before transferring to the fridge overnight. The next day add apple cider vinegar, mix well then pass through a fine sieve, pressing firmly to extract as much flavour as possible. You should only be left with the seeds and zest to compost. Transfer syrup to a glass jar or bottle. It will store happily in the fridge for a week or two (normally I’d say indefinitely for shrubs, but this one has a lot of fruit pulp in it so it won’t keep as long). To serve, pour 1–3 tablespoons of syrup into a glass and top up with chilled sparkling or still water.