Looking for a refreshing summer drink with some bite? Try a shrub, a fruity drinking vinegar with some serious zing. Shrubs are wonderful because they offer endless flavor combinations. Choose any type of fruit, sugar, and vinegar, (and spices if you're feeling fancy), mix the fruit and sugar together and let it sit for 2 days to ferment, strain, add the vinegar and drink up!
If you're feeling impatient or don't have a few days to make a shrub, I've also included an equally (possibly even more) refreshing mocktail. This became my go to "drink" during my pregnancy because it actually tastes like a real cocktail and not just some fruit soda that, sadly, many mocktails taste like. The other great thing about this drink is that it also has secret health benefits – ginger helps with stomach problems and can reduce inflammation, limes are a good source of vitamin C, and apple cider vinegar aids in digestion, detoxifies, and helps fight sugar cravings, amongst other things.
Not pregnant or trying to cut back on the booze? Go ahead and add your favorite spirit to either one of these drinks. The citrusy nature of these drinks lends them well to gin, tequila, and vodka, but bourbon would also work nicely.
Ginger Lime Shrub
4 limes, zested and quartered
1 cup sugar (I used coconut sugar)
6 tbsp freshly grated ginger root
1 cup apple cider vinegar
Combine the limes, sugar, and ginger root in a non-reactive bowl (stainless steel or glass) and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with a dish towel or cheesecloth and let it sit at room temperature for 2 days, stirring once a day. Once this is done, strain the mixture into a measuring cup and slowly add the vinegar, tasting as you go until you get to the right level of sharpness for your taste. Last, pour into a glass jar with a lid and store it in the fridge for up to a month. To drink, pour a splash of the shrub into a tall glass filled with ice and top with club soda (and maybe a little booze).
Ginger Lime Mocktail
4 tbsp ginger concentrate (recipe below)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp agave syrup or honey
splash of club soda
To make the ginger concentrate: combine a 3 – 4" piece of peeled ginger root and 2 cups of filtered water in a high-powered blender. Blend on high until combined and pour into a glass jar (strain if necessary).
Combine the ginger concentrate, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and agave syrup in a rocks glass, stir, and adjust as needed. Add a splash of club soda and a large ice cube. Garnish with a lime and enjoy!