Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Basil Diary Day 3: The "Shrub"

basil leaves

Basil Diary Day 3: The "Shrub"

A “shrub” is a wonderful concoction that wakes up seltzer, water or hard liquor with a little bit of fruit and/or herbs.

Dating back to the 15th century, shrubs were a vinegar-based syrup using herbs or fruit. In Colonial times, shrubs became an ingredient in cocktails and soda pop. Because there was no refrigeration, shrub syrup was a way to preserve fruit and herbs.    

RECIPE: Basil Blackberry Shrub  

Time from prep to consumption: 5 – 7 days


2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup blackberries
6 – 8 large basil leaves
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar


Combine the sugar, blackberries and basil in a small bowl. Using a fork, crush the blackberries. Using scissors, cut the leaves into tiny slivers. Combine the berries and slivers of basil with sugar. Let fruit and herbs macerate in sugar at room temperature for an hour or so.

Place the mixture in a small clean mason jar. Add the vinegars. Cover with a tight fitting lid and give it a shake. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 5 to 7 days. Give it a good shake once or twice a day. At the end of the 5 to 7 day period, strain mixture. Keeps in fridge for a month.