Sweet and sour notes blend beautifully to awaken the tastebuds in this Summer Sunshine Shrub. Perfect for those hot summer days to quench your thirst. Set off with fruity notes of mango, pineapple, and berry, with healing notes of ginger, turmeric, dandelion root, and elderberry. This probiotic-rich beverage is perfect to serve at your next gathering as a zero-proof cocktail or drizzle on a snow cone for the kids.
Summer Sunshine SHRUB
No, I am not talking about a holly bush or a dwarf pine. I am referring to a drink originating from 17th Century England and later brought to Colonial America, where apple cider vinegar and sugar were used as a way of preserving seasonal fruit to be enjoyed out of season. What results is a fruity, sweet-tart syrup to add to fizzy, sparkling water. There are many variations to this recipe as you can use whatever fruit is in season, but this particular recipe combines all my favorite summer flavors for a fun and nutritious way to quench your thirst. Try adding a bit of “special” to your summer BBQs by serving a delicious zero-proof cocktail while you mingle. What a way to make your guests feel welcome.
- In a clean 1/2 gallon or 2 quart jars, add tropical fruit mix, berries, ginger, turmeric, lemon juice and zest.
- Pound or muddle with the back of a spoon or sauerkraut pounder to release juices.
- Measure in chopped fresh or dried dandelion root, elderberries, and cardamom pods.
- Add honey, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Stir to dissolve honey.
- Cover with a plastic lid or line a metal lid with wax paper and ferment on the counter for 3-4 days and finish up with 2 days in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you may place in the refrigerator for 10 days to ferment instead.
- Shake daily, until flavors meld, probiotics multiply, and everything gets yummialized.
- After the infusing period is complete, strain your shrub through a fine mesh strainer, firmly pressing and squeezing out all the juice. Transfer to a clean, dry jar or bottle, place a fun lid on it for easy dispensing, and label clearly.
- Serve with crushed ice, 2-3 T shrub (depending on your taste preference), and fizzy water or drizzle over a snow cone for a special summer treat.
15 minutes active time, not including foraging. 10 days total fermenting time if placed directly in the refrigerator. 3 days fermenting time if placed on the counter, with an additional 2 days in the refrigerator. Yields 3 cups syrup
Summer Sunshine SHRUB SNOW CONES FOR THE KIDS
Do you ever just crave a snow cone? Me either. But my kids ask if they can make snow cones all summer long. Summer Sunshine Shrub is the perfect snow cone syrup to go on their snow cones. Without all the colored dyes and chemically-laden, highly processed sugars, Summer Sunshine Shrub not only tastes amazing, but boasts healthy probiotics to boot. It’s a great way to get probiotics into their little bellies in a tasty way. See my post on Citrus & Pine Winter Shrub for a delicious seasonal shrub idea we prepare to celebrate the winter solstice and special snow days.
- 3 cups frozen tropical fruit mix, chopped mango, or pineapple
- 2 cups fresh or frozen berries
- zest and juice of one organic lemon
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh dandelion root or 3 T dried dandelion root
- 3 T dried elderberries
- 1 T fresh grated turmeric or 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 T fresh grated ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger
- 5 cardamom pods
- 2 cups raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup raw honey (add more if you prefer a sweeter shrub)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
Place tropical fruit, berries, ginger, turmeric, lemon and zest in a half gallon jar and muddle with the back of a wooden spoon or press with a sauerkraut pounder to release juices.
Meaure in the chopped dandelion root, elderberries, and cardamom pods.
Add apple cider vinegar, honey and maple syrup and stir to combine.
Line the lid with waxed paper or parchment paper and tighten lid.
Place on the counter, in a cool, dark place to ferment for 3-4 days.
Transfer to the refrigerator for an additional 2 days.
Strain the shrub through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing gently to extract all the juice.
Transfer to a clean, dry quart size jar with a pour spout lid and refrigerate. Use within 6 months (if it lasts that long).
To use: add crushed ice to a glass, pour in 2-3 T shurb (depending on your preference) and fill remaining glass with sparkling mineral water such as Pellegrino.
Summer Sunshine Shrub on YouTube
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Herbal Adventures for Kids (a wonderful herbal introduction book for kids. This recipe is adapted from one I found in this book.)
If you want a great book to introduce your children to the concept of the microbiome, healthy bacteria, the importance of eating nutritious food, and the role that probiotics and prebiotics play in our health, then The Army Inside You: A Children’s Guide to the Microbiome by Lindsey Garvin is a great book. Not only are the illustrations adorable and the concepts easy to grasp, but it gives children ownership of what they put in their mouth. They make healthy choices because they understand and know the “why” of their choices. Knowledge empowers!