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Blackberry Shrub

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Joined: 14 May 2007
Posts: 579
Location: Gallatin, TN
Real Name: Jason W. Gatliff

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Blackberry Shrub Reply with quote

Blackberry Shrub

In late August or early September 1997, I was thumbing through my newest issue of Muzzleloader Magazine. In it Mark Baker tells a story whose central theme is trying to get his hands on a jug of shrub. He relates it was the most expensive drink offered at Kaskaskia in George Morgans store.
What could be so great about this shrub stuff? I decided to find out.
Most shrub recipes have some kind of alcohol added, Rum, Brandy, Wine, or Porter. However the first recipes I came across used only vinegar, sugar, and blackberries or raspberries. Shrub can also be made from Lemons, Oranges, Currants, Cherries, and grapes.
The basic recipe for Blackberry shrub is as follows;

Put blackberries in an earthenware crock.
Barely cover with vinegar and let sit for 24 hours.
Mash, strain, and add 2 cups of sugar for each quart of liquid.
Boil for 20-30 minutes, and bottle when slightly warm.
To serve; mix 1 part shrub to 2 parts water.

20th Century Tips and Hints.

Fresh blackberries are best, but you can use store bought or frozen also.
Cherries can be added also.
I've found Red wine vinegar produces the smoothest taste.
After sitting for 24 hours, puree in an electric blender, then strain through a cloth jelly strainer.
After bottled, store in a cool dry place HIDDEN from freinds and family(Yes HIDDEN)
A flask of non-alcoholic shrub is an excellent pick-me-up on the trail. Like 18th century Gatoraid, it replenishes electrolytes. This summer I made 6 quarts of concentrated blackberry shrub from fresh picked berries. That means 18 quarts of drinkable shrub when diluted. Not even close to enough for a year!
Try it, the vinegar gives it an alcoholic taste,with no hangover. If you aren't sure if you like it the first time, by the third, you'll chase your freinds crock around all night, just like Mark did. Good luck getting some if you didn't make it yourself though.

References: Muzzleloader mag. VolXXIV, NO.4 pgs11-18
A Pilgrims journey,Mark A. Baker
Tankard Recipes and Drinking Customs,
compiled by Donlyn Meyers,Printed by Smoke
& Fire News, pgs 8&9.
Parting Glass, an American Book of Drink,
Wheaton: Printed by B. Lanzerotti,pgs 47-

Submitted by: Phil Swift - on August 09, 2000

Jason W. Gatliff
Historical Enterprises

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