This sweet/tart stone fruit and thyme shrub makes a refreshing all natural soda.
Although the change in seasons is fast approaching, summer temperatures are still undeniably in full swing around here. And when the thermometer is on the rise the pressing question is not just what should we eat, but rather what should we drink!
A good summer sipper should be refreshing, not too sweet and taste great served icy cold. Enter the shrub soda: an old-timey beverage that’s quickly become one of my favorite warm weather drinks. (Here’s my other favorite.) Tart, not overly sweet and a little fizzy, it’s pretty much everything I could want when it’s hot out.
A shrub is a sweet/tart vinegar and fruit based syrup, and it’s a terrific base for making your own healthy homemade sodas. All you need is ripe fruit, a sweetener and vinegar to make a shrub.
Now there are quite a few ways you can go about making a shrub; some advocate heating the fruit and sweetener to make a syrup then adding in the vinegar, others prefer to infuse the vinegar with the fruit for a week or so then add in the sweetener to taste. I like to use the cold method and let the fruit and sweetener macerate overnight in the fridge before straining and stirring in the vinegar. Letting the fruit sit overnight results in a syrup with fresh, vibrant fruit flavor and only requires a bit of patience.
You can use whatever fruits are in season but the juicier the better so get your hands on the ripest specimens possible. I’ve used a combination of stone fruits here. White peaches, nectarines and yellow plums are still plentiful at the moment so I combined those with raw honey and a few sprigs of thyme for my shrub.
I just chop up the fruit, add it to a large mason jar, top it with the honey and thyme and give everything a good mash with a muddler. After an overnight rest, I pass the syrupy fruit mixture through a fine mesh strainer and stir in some apple cider vinegar. If I have the patience I’ll let that sit again for another 24 hours but if not I simply pour a few spoonfuls into the bottom of a glass, add ice and top with sparkling water to make a gulpable homemade soda. It’s lightly sweet with a nice tang from the vinegar that makes it so thirst quenching.
Looking for even more summer drink inspiration? Also check out the #DRINKTHESUMMER bash below, with some of my favorite bloggers bringing you some seriously fresh and seasonally inspired drinks!