A shrub is similar to simple syrup except it uses vinegar instead of water for liquid. The first time I ever tried one was actually at this amazing Jewish Deli in San Francisco that was famous for pickles and advertised homemade soda. When I ordered a blackberry soda the owner warned me that it wasn’t like regular soda and would have a nice tanginess too it. I was skeptical, but tried it anyway and it was delicious!
Most recipes for a shrub require soaking the the fruit and herb in the vinegar over night, straining it, and then straining the liquid before then boiling it with sugar to make the syrup. A bit of a lengthy process, but just like you can make a quick pickle I made a quick shrub. Done in a couple hours instead over 12.
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
0.5 cups sugar
5 Apples Peeled, Cored, and Cut in to 1/2 Inch Chunks
4 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
0.5 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract
In a large container place apples and rosemary then set aside. In a saucepan on medium heat bring vinegar, sugar, and vanilla to s simmer stirring constantly until sugar is completely dissolved. This should take 2-3 minutes. Carefully pour the warm liquid over the apples and rosemary, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for 3-4 hours. Strain through a fine mesh strainer in to a jar. Will last for 2 weeks in the fridge.
Notes: If using in a cocktail the day you make the shrub save the apples for a garnish. You could also use them in an apple and fennel salad because they are at this point pickled and quite delicious!