STRAW­BERRY OR NEC­TARINE SHRUB

MAKES 2 CUPS / PREPA­RA­TION 15 MIN­UTES PLUS IN­FUS­ING TIME

Cuisine - - GINNY GRANT -

Shrubs are ba­si­cally a vine­gary fruit drink with roughly equal ra­tios of all the in­gre­di­ents. They’re easy to make and the left­over fruit is de­li­cious mixed through muesli or yo­ghurt. Here I’ve made a straw­berry shrub and a nec­tarine ver­sion. Use a qual­ity vine­gar – I like red wine vine­gar with straw­berry and ap­ple cider vine­gar or white wine vine­gar with stone­fruit. Herbs or spices make a great ad­di­tion – try a few leaves of rose gera­nium, lemon ver­bena or basil bruised with the raw fruit. The longer the shrub is stored, the more the flavour mel­lows. 2 pun­nets straw­ber­ries, hulled, quar­tered,

or 4-5 nec­tarines, stoned, chopped caster su­gar red wine vine­gar (if us­ing straw­ber­ries) or ap­ple cider

or white wine vine­gar (if us­ing stone­fruit) Weigh the straw­ber­ries and put into a non-re­ac­tive (glass or ce­ramic) bowl. Add the same weight of caster su­gar, stir, cover and leave on the bench overnight. When the mix is quite syrupy, strain and dis­card the fruit but add any undis­solved su­gar to the syrup. Add the same weight of vine­gar (I do this to taste, so don’t add it all at once – but I like it on the vine­gary side) and store in a ster­ilised bot­tle in the fridge. Keeps for months. Serve a lit­tle syrup over ice and top with sparkling wa­ter.

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