This month we ended up with 4 flats of strawberries from Feed My Sheep. For many the first thought would be jam, but let me be clear…we have more jam then we know what to do with! All kinds of wonderful sweet sticky goodness all stored up and ready whenever we would like it. So jam was out for preserving this wonderful abundance! So I came up with a few fun treats that you may like to try. (One for now and One for later)
Shrubs or Drinking Vinegar can be made easily with just a bit of time. I am always looking for ways to get vinegar and other healthy foods into our diet. We have experimented with kombucha, fresh ginger drinks and ferments. Shrubs are in the same family and can be made from a wide range of fruits They are easy to make and do not need a long time to be ready for consumption.
What you need:
- 1 lb Strawberries (Other berries can be used too)
- 1 lb sugar (I think this may be too much)
- 1 pint high quality Apple Cider Vinegar
- Jar with lid (I like Mason jars)
Mix the berries and the sugar and mash them slightly. set aside in a covered bowl at room temp. I let mine sit for 2 hours, but you can let them sit longer. This allows the juices to form.
Press the fruit mix through a sieve and set the pulp aside. Add the vinegar to your fruit juice. This is when I do a taste test. You should get a clear vinegar taste, but it should also be slightly sweet and taste of the berries. This should last a nice long time stored in the refrigerator. When you are ready to pour yourself a drink just add ice to a glass, pour a shot of your shrub and fill the rest of the glass with carbonated water. Enjoy!
Last summer we experimented with cordials and infused liquors. The results were a bit mixed so I’m trying again. Keep in mind I will not have results for these mixes for another three months, so try at your own risk…or change it up a bit. I would love to hear what you add to the mix if you make changes! I am including the recipes for the two infusions I started this week.
What you need:
- 2 Liters Brandy (or try a mix of Vodka and golden or dark Rum 1 Liter of each)
- 2-4 Cups sugar (I went with 2C. and will add more sugar later if needed)
- 4-6 Cups strawberries (I used 6C)
- Jar with a lid (I like Mason Jars)
I went with both options and they are made the same way. Mix the fruit with the sugar and let it stand for a bit. Then pour your alcohol over the berries and cover tightly. Shake every few hours until the sugars are all mixed in. I used a raw sugar so it took a bit longer. Set your jars in a cool dark spot and shake from time to time over about 2-3 months. After they have sat for a few months drain the berries out and save those…they are a yummy treat to have on hand! There you go! wonderful infused liquors. They can be used in all sorts of mixed drinks or pour a shot over ice with some carbonated water. I also mix with lemonade for a great summer time treat.
Hope you enjoyed these little treats! If you give them a try I would love to hear how they turn out! Have fun with your abundance!