When you replace the water in the simple syrup with vinegar, preferably organic apple-cider vinegar, you've created a shrub, a bracing and very refreshing early-American treat.
1. Add the fruit, ½ cup sugar, and vinegar to a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer until the fruit is soft and the sugar is dissolved. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar as needed, stirring to dissolve. Remove from heat.
2. When the liquid is cool, mash or puree the fruit in the syrup and strain into a jar. Discard the solids.
3. To make one glass of shrub, stir 3 tablespoons of syrup into 8 ounces of cold carbonated water. The syrup will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.
Makes enough syrup for 6 to 8 glasses of soda
Photograph by Mitch Mandel
Originally published in Organic Gardening magazine, April/May 2013