Pomegranate Shrub Recipe
This Pomegranate Shrub Recipe will give you a gorgeous ruby syrup, sweet and tart and delicious. Stir it into bubbly water, your favorite cocktail, or a salad vinaigrette for bright and tangy pomegranate flavor.
My family thinks I’m weird, how much I love the taste of vinegar (think condiments, homemade pickles, and salad vinaigrettes, oh my!). I can proudly say that I just keep getting weirder and weirder with each passing year, as I keep finding new ways to consume it. And now, with my newfound love for shrubs, I’m really blowing my family away. Our oldest daughter, with a very disgusted look on her face, recently said to her dad, “Yuck. Now Mom’s drinking vinegar.”
If you have never heard of a shrub (the kind you drink, not plant in the ground), I hope I haven’t lost you, but have only intrigued you to find out more. This gorgeous Pomegranate Shrub Recipe has opened up my food world in a whole new dimension. Call me weird. I’m just fine with that.
First… What is a shrub? And how about a little history?
Shrubs are sweet, concentrated syrups made from seasonal fruit, sugar, and vinegar. They can be enjoyed all on their own or stirred into still water, bubbly water, or a wide array of cocktails. Visit any establishment specializing in handcrafted cocktails, and you’re sure to find at least a couple different flavors of shrubs included on the drink menu.
The word “shrub” is derived from the Arabic “sharbah”, which means “a drink”, and has a history trail that trots around the globe. Drinking vinegar was talked about in the Bible and was common during colonial times in America when sailors carried shrubs to prevent scurvy. They gained popularity during the Temperance movement and became a traditional drink to serve to thirsty farmers at hay harvest time, nicknamed haymaker’s punch and often call switchel.
This pomegranate shrub recipe has just three ingredients: pomegranate juice, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. They are simply shaken up, altogether, and then stored in the refrigerator.
You could juice your own fresh-plucked pomegranate seeds. But I say why go through that tedious messiness when there is beautiful 100% pomegranate juice so readily available. Just buy a bottle of POM Wonderful and be done with it.
When I was researching different vinegars to use for shrubs, the Bragg brand kept coming up. I had never tried it before, so I picked up a bottle for comparison. I poured a little glass of my regular brand and another of Bragg. And if I had to drink straight-up apple cider vinegar (which lots of people do daily, for the health benefits), Bragg is the one I’d want. It just made sense to create this shrub with a vinegar that was more drinkable.
After 2 or 3 days chilling in the refrigerator, the shrub mixture turns into a sweet and tangy simple syrup. It’s a gorgeous ruby color, with bright pomegranate flavor.
So far, I’ve just been experimenting with using this pomegranate shrub in different drinks. For a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage, fill a glass with ice and then pour in some pomegranate shrub. Add cold, bubbly club soda and give a little stir. Garnish with a few fresh pomegranate seeds if desired. You’ll have to experiment with your own ratio of shrub to club soda, but I tend to like my drink pretty vinegary. I find this to be super refreshing and am already looking forward to creating shrubs next summer, to beat the heat.
What do you think? What summer fruit or combination of fruits would make a great shrub for summer?
Also…stay tuned for a cocktail recipe using this pomegranate shrub. I’ll be sharing it soon, just in time for the festivities of Christmas and New Year’s!
Pomegranate Shrub Recipe
Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time:5 minutes + 2 days to chill
Add all ingredients to a large bottle or jar, seal tightly, and shake vigorously to combine. Store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days before using, to create a sweet and tart simple syrup. Flavors will continue to mingle and mature over time. Use within 6 months.
For a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage, fill a glass with ice and then pour in some pomegranate shrub. Add club soda and give a little stir. Garnish with a few fresh pomegranate seeds if desired.
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