Blood Orange Shrub + OPK update

blood orange sliced on a cutting board photo by Lauren Howland

Bottle of juniper vinegar photo by Lauren Howland

blood orange shrub ingredients on a cutting board - sugar , orange peel and oranges photo by Lauren Howland

blood orange citrus infused sugar in a bowl photo by Lauren Howland

Pouring juniper vinegar into a glass for blood orange shrub photo by Lauren Howland
Blood Orange Shrub in a glass photo by Lauren Howland

blood orange shrub in a glass view from the top photo by Lauren Howland blood orange shrub in a glass held in hand photo by Lauren Howland

After a bit of a hiatus, we are excited to be back with this delicious Blood Orange Shrub! We have been busy these past few months traveling, working and of course cooking so many amazing dishes.

In December, I took a two week trip to Peru and fell in love with the people, culture and history there. I also managed to bring back some fantastic salt from the S.M. salt mines. Getting to see first hand the process of extracting salt from natural springs was both visually stunning as well as an eye opening experience into the incredible amount of labor. The community shares the duties and the profits from the mine, each caring for different plots, yet all working together to shift water flow and cycles.  I can’t wait to share some recipes featuring salt from this amazing place!

Lauren has been traveling  to Vermont and California and is heading to Costa Rica in May. She has been steadily building an amazing portfolio for her new website which you can see at laurenhowland.com

In the meantime, spring has fully established itself in the pacific NW, complete with hot sunny days, astounding amounts of rain, rainbows, flowers galore and a few hail storms thrown in to top it off.

We fell in love with shrubs last season and with the warm weather just around the corner decided it was time to start adding them to our list of staples in our refrigerator.

A shrub (also known as a drinking vinegar) originated as a way to preserve fresh fruit, and is typically made up of three ingredients: Fruit, Sweetener, Vinegar.  Traditionally shrubs are fermented though many current recipes speed up the process by adding vinegar to the fruit and sweetener.

There are two ways to make shrubs- cold method and hot method. A good rule of thumb for choosing which method to use is “do you traditionally use these ingredients for jam?”  If yes, use the hot method (plum, rhubarb, berries).  If not, use the cold method (Orange, watermelon, pineapple)

Shrubs are a great addition to seltzers and cocktails and are generally light and refreshing.  In addition, the possibilities for flavor combinations are endless!  We have shared a basic recipe below, but encourage you to try making shrubs with any fruit that is in season and looks delicious!  You can also experiment with the type of vinegar you use as well as adding herbs and spices.  Some flavor combinations to try:

Rhubarb- Ginger with Apple Cider Vinegar- recipe from Epicurius

Blueberry- Basil with Champagne vinegar- general recipe from Food 52

Plum- Vanillla with apple cider vinegar- recipe from the Modern Proper

Fennel- Apple- Rhubarb– recipe from Reclaiming Provincial for those who want to experiment more with partial fermentation

Blood Orange Shrub cocktail - Howland
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Blood Orange + Juniper Shrub

Refreshing blood orange and juniper shrub makes a great addition to sparkling water or cocktails.

Course Drinks
Cuisine NW Seasonal
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 5-6 blood oranges , yielding about 1 1/2c juice
  • 1/2 c Juniper berry vinegar (also can substitute champagne vinegar)
  • 1/2 c sugar

Instructions

  1. Use a vegetable peeler or zester to peel zest from the oranges in strips. Combine with sugar and muddle until sugar begins to absorb the oil from the zest. Set aside and let rest while juicing the oranges.
  2. Pour juice and vinegar into the sugar & zest mixture. Stir or shake until sugar is dissolved. We used a jar with a lid to be able to shake the mixture together.
  3. Strain shrub through a wire mesh strainer to remove zest. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

We like to mix about 2 oz shrub with 6 oz seltzer water. You can leave your shrub at room temperature for a couple weeks (the vinegar acts as a preservative) or refrigerate for up to a month. Enjoy this Blood Orange Shrub! Let us know what you think.

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