It is mulberry season here and our three mulberry trees pour down a deluge of berries when you shake their branches. Aside from making a big mess when you walk on them barefoot, mulberries are good for eating too! You can make jams, pies or just about anything else out of them that you’d use other berries for. Today we used them to make a “shrub”. No, not the type you use for landscaping. This type of shrub is an old fashioned way of preserving fresh fruits and berries that has recently come back in vogue. The trendiest bars now offer homemade shrubs on their cocktail menus! Shrubs are often called “summer in a bottle” because they capture the bright, fresh fruity flavors of summer and preserve them to enjoy anytime.
There are two basic ways to create shrubs- the hot method and the cold method. The cold method takes time and since we were wanted to be able to enjoy this shrub immediately we opted for the hot method. The flavor and balance of this shrub will improve over time, but is ready to use immediately.
In a pot on the stove, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup mulberries and the zest of 3/4 of a lemon. Bring to a boil and then simmer until berries are fully broken down. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar. Once cool, strain to remove mulberry seeds and skins. Pour into a mason jar and store in the fridge.
Mulberry Shrub Whiskey Cocktail
2T Mulberry Shrub muddled with a fresh basil leaf, a squeeze of lemon, a splash of bitters and a splash of whiskey. Add crushed ice. Top with whiskey.
We have used Alberta Dark Rye (Canadian whiskey) and Knob Creek bourbon. Experiment and decide what you like best!