So I was making a shrub today and it seemed like a good moment to start us off on this blog that we've been talking about. Shrubs, in case you haven't heard, just might be the latest hipster trend --fruit infused drinking vinegars that were popular in colonial America and 17th century England, and can be used for mixed cocktails. Or in our teetotaling ways, a fancy soda.
We had bought a bottle a few days ago and it's already almost gone. It was delicious, but it cost $15! As usual, my thrifty self had that cocky, dangerous thought, "I can make that."
I had brought a bunch of blood oranges home from the farm and was wondering what to do with them. So this seemed like a perfect opportunity.
I used this recipe, from Food in Jars, but of course made a few changes. The great thing about this particular recipe is that you don't ever use any heat. I was just listening to Lynn Rosetto Kasper on The Splendid Table say that adding heat to citrus is like pulling a big blanket over the flavor, you lose all of its brightness. So you don't have that problem here. Also, it makes the recipe embarrassingly easy, now that I think about it.
So you start by juicing the oranges. I could've used the juicer but it didn't seem like a big deal to do it by hand. Now I realize it was the most time consuming part of this process.
The recipe said to just use the juice, but I added in the pulp, seemed a waste not to. I had 1.5 cups of juice and pulp. The classic proportions, I guess, are 1:1:1, juice, sugar, vinegar.
Of course I didn't have just regular white sugar, so I used 1/2 cup of turbinado sugar and 1/2 cup of coconut sugar (my new favorite). And I used 1/2 cup rice vinegar, which I thought would be more mellow, and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, which is more typically used.
That was it! I mixed a couple tablespoons with some fizzy water and it was ready to enjoy.
So this, I think, is a good use of some of the produce from the farm. No fermentation, no waiting, you can throw it all in the juicer and just mix it up. There are probably ways to can it if there's a lot, but with the sugar and the acid, its probably going to keep for a while in the fridge.