Blueberry-Lemon Ginger Shrub Syrup 

A shrub is a sweet, tangy syrup that can be used to flavor anything from soda water to fancy cocktails. There are a variety of methods for making shrubs, and just about any type of fruit and vinegar can be used.

Incorporating citrus zest is a tasty way to give your shrub syrup a unique twist. This recipe uses the cold method to combine seasonal blueberries, fragrant lemon zest and little spice from fresh ginger. Add a splash to your favorite lemonade, or add it to gin and make a martini.

Yield: 1 ½ cups syrup
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Refrigeration time: 12 hours + 2 to 3 days

Peeled zest of 3 lemons*
2 cups blueberries
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
½ cup apple cider vinegar

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the lemon zest peels, blueberries, sugar and ginger. Stir to combine and coat all the fruit with sugar. Use a fork to gently smash some of the berries.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to 24 hours. (The longer it sits, the more juice you’ll end up with.) Check it halfway through the refrigeration time, and stir, smashing the berries a little more.

When you are ready to prepare the shrub, set a strainer over another bowl and pour the fruit into the strainer. Use a spoon to gently press and smash the fruit to extract more juice. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Stir again.

Note: Depending on the size of your strainer, small seeds from fruits like blueberries may pass through. These often go unnoticed in a drink, but if you want fewer seeds. Pass the syrup through the strainer again, or through a cheese cloth.

Once you’ve gathered the syrup, stir in the vinegar. Use a funnel to transfer the shrub to a bottle. Seal, and shake.

Place in the refrigerator for 2 to 7 days before using. Shake it once a day to help dissolve the sugar. It is ready once the sugar has dissolved and the vinegar has mellowed to your taste preferences. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of shrub syrup per 8 to 12 ounce drink.

*We recommend using lemons from Paramount Citrus. They are consistently fresh and juicy and available at most major grocery, mass and club retailers.

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