While it might sound more like a bushy plant in your backyard, there are two kinds of shrubs – and both belong on your bar cart in one century or another.
Derived from the Arabic word sharāb which means “to drink,” shrub is a fruity liqueur that was popular during the 17th and 18th century mixed with sugar and made with brandy or rum. But fast forward to to today, and you'll find the kind of shrub we're interested in. Known as “drinking vinegar,” it's more commonly made by mixing a vinegared syrup with spirits, water or carbonated water – and just perfect for adding to your favourite drinks.
Christine Manning learned the process of preserving as a child from her mother and Nonna, and after 15 years of her marketing career, she started to make preserves during her free time to unwind. Soon after she received praise from neighbours and friends, and after selling them during the weekends to farmers' markets, Christine quit her day job and founded Manning Canning Kitchens.
Manning Canning finds their take on the ancient elixir by infusing cold-pressed fruit juice with organic apple cider vinegar. They’ve come out with three different blends of shrubs for you to mix into cocktails, mocktails and sparklers: cucumber lime, pear ginger and rhubarb vanilla.
Why try it? The apple cider vinegar combined with fruit juice creates a complex and satisfying flavor that has a better value per serving compared with cold brew coffee or fresh juice. For anyone who prefers something sweet and tangy to sip on, we recommend the rhubarb vanilla shrub. It tastes totally different than it smells and adds a fresh, crisp taste that pairs brilliantly with the added vanilla beans. If you need a reason to love vanilla, it’s known for lowering cholesterol and reduces inflammation in the body.
Manning Canning's shrubs are the perfect added ingredient to your “nearly” summer cocktail without the added sugar or artificial flavours.