shrubglassMy friend Sarah gets credit for this ingenious gift idea.  A sweet-tart combination of fruit juice, sugar, and vinegar, the shrub is a versatile drink mix that’s easy to make.  To serve, fill a glass with ice, add a splash of shrub, and top off with carbonated water or club soda.  Add a shot of rum or brandy, if you like.  Or mix the shrub with sparkling wine instead.  Any way you fix it, it’s awfully refreshing.

Cranberry-ginger Shrub

Makes about 1 quart.

1 1/2 c. water

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 quart fresh cranberries

1 thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

2 c. cider vinegar

shrubcook3Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Add cranberries and ginger, simmer 15 minutes.  Add vinegar, simmer 5 minutes more. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve set over a bowl, pressing on berries to release as much liquid as possible.  Transfer to a glass container and refrigerate up to a month.  Shake or stir before using.