If there's one thing that can bring us out of mourning, it's the appearance of elderberries. These juicy, tangy, slightly sweet and Vitamin C-packed berries make delicious jellies, wines, and syrups – and, we recently learned, shrubs. Ever tried a shrub?
Ever tried a shrub?
1 cup elderberries
1 cup vinegar
About 1 1/2 cups sugar
Soda water to serve
Wash and dry the elderberries, place them in a pint-size jar or non-reactive bowl, and lightly crush using a fork or potato masher. Add vinegar and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, occasionally shaking the jar or stirring the contents of the bowl.
Give the mixture a good shake or stir and then strain using a fine-mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth. Discard the solids.
Measure the liquid. For every cup of liquid, use 1 cup of sugar. Combine liquid and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
Let cool, bottle, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks (possibly much longer).
To serve, mix with sparking water. Start with 1 part shrub to 6 parts sparkling water and adjust to taste. The syrup may also be mixed with still water or used in cocktails.
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