Raspberry shrub syrup drinking vinegar is a sweet and tart shrub syrup using fresh in season raspberries, lime, lemon balm and low GI cane sugar, preserved with apple cider vinegar. A shrub syrup is a form of quick pickle or refrigerator pickle that uses a cold maceration process with sugar, herbs and spices and vinegar to preserve fruit and vegetables. Shrub syrups can be kept in the fridge and will last for up to a week, or longer depending on the ingredients and recipe used.
Uses for shrub syrups: refreshing drinks, cocktails, desserts
Raspberry shrub syrup drinking vinegar is delicious with fizzy water as a refreshing cool drink: with lots of ice it is ambrosial and really speaks to the history of shrubs as related to the Arabic word sharab to drink and sherbet, being every bit like a pink sweet-tart ice confection. Raspberry shrub syrup drinking vinegar also makes a fantastic raspberry lime gin fix cocktail in a pickle twist on Jerry Thomas’ classic 1862 recipe and is yummy with prosecco or champagne with a dash of rhubarb bitters to add more complexity. The leftover raspberry seeds can be upcycled into a delicious ice cream while the shrub syrup can be used as a topping for ice cream, and fresh fruit such as raspberries and strawberries.
Method: how to make a shrub syrup using cold process maceration
I have used a cold process of slow maceration following Michael Dietsch (2016) in Shrubs. Making shrubs does take some time due to the slow cold process maceration but it is easy to do, it just takes some advance preparation to place the ingredients in the fridge to macerate overnight and then pour over the vinegar the next day to complete the process. Making a shrub is well worth the preparation involved though as you have a quality seasonal ingredient for cocktails such as the raspberry lime gin fix, refreshing drinks and desserts.
Preserving seasonal raspberries, limes, lemon balm
Shrubs are a fantastic way to preserve the best of the season in a vinegar based syrup. Raspberry shrub syrup drinking vinegar preserves in season Autumn raspberries with lemon balm from my cocktail garden and in season limes for a tart and refreshing base for drinks, cocktails and desserts.
What is the difference between a shrub syrup and a syrup?
Using a low GI cane sugar for flavour only, while relying on the apple cider vinegar for preservation allows for a lower sugar and more flavourful syrup. A shrub is more versatile than a syrup as it is preserved with vinegar, thus the sugar is there for flavour only and can be reduced to taste. Shrubs can be used as both a souring agent in cocktails in place of lemon or lime juice and as a flavouring agent adding intense and complex flavours due to flavour pairing of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, sweeteners and vinegars.
Upcycle the leftover raspberry seeds into ice cream
The leftover strained raspberry seeds from making the shrub can be reserved and upcycled into a lovely tart ice cream when combined with coconut cream, fresh raspberries, banana and the juice of a lime. I have included the recipe for the ice cream below. It’s delicious in an ice cream sandwich with ice cream wafers or served solo drizzled with a little of the shrub syrup and some fresh raspberries.
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Raspberry shrub syrup drinking vinegarPrint Recipe
- Raspberry shrub syrup: 125 grams raspberries
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 125 grams Low GI raw cane sugar
- 1 sprig lemon balm
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- Raspberry ice cream: leftover strained raspberry seeds from making the raspberry shrub
- Handful fresh raspberries
- 1 small banana, chopped
- 270 mls coconut cream, chilled
- Juice from 1 lime
Raspberry shrub syrup: Make an oleo-saccharum by rubbing the lime zest with the sugar to release the lime oil into the sugar, set aside
Mash raspberries and lemon balm very well with a muddling stick in a clean container
Add the oleo-saccharum to the raspberries and lemon balm and stir
Seal the container with a clean lid and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, until there is evidence of the formation of a thick syrup
Sterilise jars – see Resources
When the syrup has formed strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container and pour over the apple cider vinegar, so it passes through the ingredients and the sieve, this will help dissolve any undissolved sugar stuck to the raspberries
Decant into your sterilised jars and refrigerate for up to one week
Delicious with fizzy water and lots of crushed ice, champagne or prosecco, garnish with a lime twist and a sprig of lemon balm or in a pickle gin fix cocktail
Reserve the strained seeds and lemon balm for making ice cream
Raspberry ice cream: Add the raspberry shrub leftover strained seeds, fresh raspberries, banana, coconut cream and juice of 1 lime to a blender and blend until smooth and well combined
Freeze until set
Allow to melt a little before serving alone with a little of the shrub syrup and fresh raspberries or with ice cream wafers to make an ice cream sandwich
To make individual servings use a cake pop tray
~Inspiration, shrubs history and recipes
Michael Dietsch (2016). Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times (Second Edition)The Countryman Press, Norton: New York.
~Online shrubs recipes
Miriam Nice Raw raspberry shrub in BBC Good Food.
Andy Baragghani (2014). Raspberry-thyme shrub (adapted from Michael Dietsch Shrubs) in Tasting table