• Liz Talley - Urban Graze

Strawberry Shrub

We have a love-hate relationship with sugar in our house; we do our best to avoid it, but do allow ourselves occasional treats. This is one of them!

This is an ancient beverage that has roots in most every culture, and often was used for medicinal purposes. In essence, it’s a drink made from a simple syrup with vinegar added.

Many decades ago, Iranian friends served it to us at a dinner party and called it Sekanjabin. This foreign word became a longstanding household joke: “Do you want a Sekanjabin?” — “No thanks, one job is enough for me!”

This recipe has evolved over the years and is one of our favorite versions, but it’s very easily adapted and so fun to change it up— I advise you to go for it! ...substitute honey for sugar, use apple cider or other vinegar, combine your favorite fruits and herbs. Strawberry-Basil is quite good!

2 c. raw, organic cane sugar

2 c. water

1 c. diced strawberries

1/4 c. chopped mint

1/4 c. diced (peeled) cucumber, optional

Zest from 1 lemon, optional

1/2 c. white wine or white balsamic vinegar

Bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Lower heat, add strawberries, mint, -and cucumbers and lemon zest, if using. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow syrup to cool to room temperature.

Strain fruit through a fine sieve, using the back of a spoon to get as much of the juices as you can. (Discard any leftover solids, or use for a yogurt topping)

Stir the vinegar into the syrup and store, covered, in the refrigerator up to a month. To use, stir 1 part syrup into about 4 parts water, and serve over ice.

Note: We opt for sparkling water whenever we have it around!

Adding a shot of rum or vodka is also pretty tasty!

Recipe created or adapted by Liz Talley, Urban Graze

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