Shrubs, a.k.a. drinking vinegars, were popular in Colonial America. At their most basic, shrubs are infusions of fruit in vinegar, sweetened to soften the tart edges. This one combines two quintessentially autumnal fruits—apples and cranberries—in a shrub that can be used as the base for various celebratory drinks.
Game plan: Use this to make a refreshing, nonalcoholic Cranberry Shrub Spritz. For something stiffer, try a Rum-Cranberry Shrub Cocktail.
- Yield: About 3 cups
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 10 mins, plus 2 days infusing time
- Active: 10 mins
- 3 medium apples, quartered (no need to peel or core them)
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- Use a box grater to shred the apples coarsely.
- Add the cranberries, vinegar, and sugar to a blender. Blend until you have a chunky purée. Combine this purée with the grated apples in a nonmetallic 1-quart container. Cover and let it sit out on the kitchen counter for 2 days.
- Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Dump the apple-cranberry mixture into the strainer. Use the back of a large spoon or a spatula to squeeze as much of the liquid from the fruit as possible. Discard the fruit.
- Transfer the shrub to a glass container or bottle, cover tightly, and store, refrigerated, for up to 1 year.