Chai Apple Shrub
Have you guys ever tried a shrub?? No, not a garden shrub. This is a vinegar and fruit based syrup often used in cocktails.
No? Well maybe it’s time to start!
Shrubs are super easy to make and delicious in cocktails or fizzy water to add a little burst of flavor. They’re also a great way to use ripe fruit that’s in season now and preserve those flavors to enjoy later.
The basic recipe for a shrub is crazy simple. It’s just 3 ingredients: equal parts sugar, vinegar and fruit. That’s it! Let those ingredients sit together for a few days and — BOOM! You have yourself a delicious fruity syrup.
I made a chai apple shrub for fall that is delicious. It’s juicy and tart with just enough spicy warm flavors to make you want to cozy up on the couch with a good book.
I started with homegrown apples from my parent’s house. This is the perfect excuse to go apple picking though if you’ve been thinking about it! You can use any kind of apples you want but I would choose something sweeter — aka, probably not green apples. To make the shrub you begin by grating the apples. You want as much surface area of the fruit as possible so grating is better than simply cutting into really small pieces.
Then, I added the sugar. I used half brown sugar, half granulated sugar. And then, I added the vinegar. I used apple cider vinegar in this case because that seemed like a given.
Lastly I added the tea. I really love the spiciness of the Masala Chai tea from Townshend's Tea Company. It's a classic blend of black tea, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom but it has a stronger and more robust chai flavor than other chai teas I’ve tried. You can use any chai tea for this shrub, just make sure the tea leaves are loose. If you start with chai tea in a bag, cut the bag open so that the tea can fully mix and mingle with the other flavors.
Just mix those few ingredients together, let them marinate in the fridge for 2 or 3 days, strain and — TADA! Your chai apple shrub is ready to be added to all your favorite fall drinks.
I think this chai apple shrub mixes well with bourbon. They’re both so warm and spicy. But you’ll get more of the pure apple flavor if you mix it with vodka or champagne. And if you have kids or you would rather not drink alcohol, try a tablespoon of shrub with fizzy water for a refreshing treat.
Stay tuned! If you’re still feeling un-inspired, a delicious chai apple shrub cocktail recipe is coming soon ;)
Chai Apple Shrub
Makes about 2 cups.
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