Blood Orange, Pink Peppercorn, & Bay Leaf Shrub
- 24 hrs
A delicious, hydrating and nourishing non-alcoholic drink created by our resident nutritionist Rhaya Jordan. Originally a way to preserve ripe fruit, the traditional recipe simply muddles together equal parts of fruit, sugar and vinegar (choose a live vinegar for gut-friendly probiotics) to create a thick syrup that can be diluted with still or sparkling water. Shrubs are also a wonderful way of avoiding waste and using up scraps such as citrus peels and overripe fruit.
4-5 blood oranges (need 250g juice)
Use a peeler to remove the zest from the blood orange. Place in a bowl with the sugar and muddle with the end of a rolling pin or wooden spoon, or use a pestle and mortar.
Cover and leave to macerate overnight. This is called a oleo-saccharum (oily sugar) and adds great depth of flavour.
Crumble the bay leaves and lightly crush the pink peppercorns before adding to the vinegar. Leave overnight.
The next day, squeeze the zested blood oranges to get 250g juice. If you are short either grab another blood orange, or reduce the sugar and vinegar accordingly (you should aim for equal quantities of fruit juice, sugar and vinegar).
Remove the strips of zest from the sugar and discard.
Pour the vinegar through a sieve to remove the peppercorns and bay leaves. Mix with the juice and flavoured sugar.
Taste to see if you are happy with the balance of sweet and sour – remember the shrub is highly concentrated.
Decant into a bottle and leave to mature for another day or two before diluting with your choice of still or sparkling water. The shrub can also be used in cocktails, mocktails, sauces and dressings.
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