Strawberry-White Balsamic Shrub from Outlander book ABOSAA

Strawberry-White Balsamic Shrub (Inspired by ABOSAA)

“Lemon shrub, ma’am?” A wilting slave, gleaming with sweat, offered me yet another tray, and I took a glass. I was dripping with perspiration, my legs aching and my throat dried with talking. At this point, I didn’t care what was in the glass, provided it was wet. I changed my opinion instantly upon tasting it; it was lemon juice and barley water, and while it was wet, I was much more inclined to pour it down the neck of my gown than to drink it. I edged unobtrusively toward a laburnum bush, intending to pour the drink into it, but was forestalled by the appearance of Neil Forbes, who stepped out from behind it.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes, "chapter 54 - Flora MacDonald's Barbecue"


That's hardly a glowing recommendation from Claire, so I don't blame you if you're a wee bit skeptical about my recipe choice for today. But before you judge me too harshly, you should know that shrubs are making a comeback  - they've undergone a bit of a facelift in culinary/cocktail circles as of late, and you'll now find them on summertime hipster bar menus everywhere, in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic forms. Shrubs have their roots in the Middle East — the word comes from the Arabic “sharab,” meaning a drink — and the early varieties used nuts, spices and rose petals for flavor.  On the other hand, Colonial America-era shrubs, like the one Claire sampled, were more utilitarian, meant simply to preserve fruits for later in the year, when fresh pickings were slim/non-existent. Modern mixologists are back to experimenting with more flavourful shrubs that are much more acceptable to today's discerning palates.

Strawberry White Balsamic Shrub

This Strawberry-White Balsamic is a delicious example of a new-age shrub. Sweet, slightly tart and utterly refreshing.  I hope you're inspired to start one of your own.

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