Thanksgiving beverage: Old-fashioned shrubs

A refreshing acidic drink that can be mixed with water, seltzer or your favorite beverage. Delight your Thanksgiving guests with a drink that is full of flavor and zing.

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    A shrub can bring a classic drink to your Thanksgiving table. (This image is a close up of the cover from "Shrubs: An Old-fashioned drink for modern times" by Michael Dietsch.)
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The idea of drinking vinegar may wrinkle your nose but there is something strangely delicious and deeply refreshing about a shrub – an acidulated beverage made with fruit juice, sugar, and other ingredients that can be drunk mixed with water, seltzer or your favorite beverage.

When I first heard about shrubs a few years back, I was highly skeptical. A fruit-based drink made with vinegar? Gross! But then I tried a few and found the mixture of sweet and tart to be strangely compelling and more than a little addictive.

So when I saw that drinks expert, Michael Dietsch had written a book about them that is beautifully photographed by his wife, Jennifer Hess, who happens to be my Facebook friend, I ordered one à tout de suite.

Recommended: Thanksgiving recipes: 20 ideas

Dietsch's writing is enjoyably conversational and he's packed this little volume full of fun and fascinating historical notes about this beverage that was a staple in Colonial America, drool-inducing recipes, and creative cocktail ideas. See below for Dietsch's recipe for a simple, cranberry-apple shrub that would make a great addition to your Thanksgiving meal.

Cranberry-Apple Shrub
From "Shrubs: An Old-fashioned drink for modern times" by Michael Dietsch

Yields 1 cup of shrub syrup

3 medium apples, quartered (no need to core or seed them)
1 cup cranberries
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup turbinado sugar

1. Shred the apples using a box grater or a food processor.

2. Add the cranberries and vinegar to a blender or food processor and blend until pureed.

3. Put the shredded apples, cranberry-vinegar mixture and sugar in a nonreactive container. Cover and leave in cool place on the counter top for 2 days.

4. After 2 days, strain the mixture into a bowl through a fine-mesh strainer, squeezing to remove any remaining liquid – you can compost the solids that are leftover.

5. Pour the liquid into a clean Mason jar or glass bottle. Cover tightly with a lid or cap and shake well. Store in the fridge. Shrub will keep for up to one year.

For a chance to win a copy of "Shrubs: An old-fashioned drink for modern times," go to Garden of Eating

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.


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