This strawberry peppercorn shrub is a concentrated sweet-tangy drink mix that tastes so much better than soda when mixed with sparkling water. Letting the strawberries soak for two days really imparts an incredible strawberry flavor that actually tastes like real strawberries (who woulda thunk?). It also amazes me that the beautiful ruby red color, which isn’t concentrated or enhanced, comes directly and naturally from the bright red strawberry skins.
Mixed with sparkling water this is the most refreshing thing you’ve ever had to drink. Flat water will also get you similar results. The next thing I want to try is an Italian Soda with a little half and half thrown in the mix. For the adults, use this shrub in a gin-based cocktail. I’m anticipating that everyone is going to love these at my next barbecue.
adapted from Holly and Flora
Strawberry Peppercorn Shrub
Yields about 2 cups, or 8 drinks worth
– 2 lemons, peeled
– 1 cup cane sugar
– 2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
– 1 cup apple cider vinegar
– 30 whole peppercorns, crushed
Place the peels of the lemons in a medium bowl with the sugar. Muddle together to get the oils from the lemon skin to mix with the sugar granules. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
Add the strawberries and peppercorns to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and let sit in the fridge for an additional 2 hours.
Muddle the berries in with the sugar, pressing out as much juice as possible.
Add the vinegar to the strawberry mix and discard the lemon peels. Try to get all of the sugar off of them before discarding. Let the strawberries soak in the vinegar for 2 days in the fridge.
Muddle the berries once more, and then strain through a fine mesh strainer or a cheese cloth-lined strainer. Discard the berries and peppercorns, or reserve for another use.
Let the shrub sit in the fridge to let the flavors fully incorporate. It will keep for about 6 months.