Blood Orange Shrub

prepping blood oranges

I’ve been thinking about making a blood orange shrub since they first rolled into my local markets. After all, their ruby color just screams to be made into a fizzy drink. And though I went crazy for shrubs (also known as drinking vinegars) last summer, it’s been months now since I stirred up a batch.

juicing blood oranges

Though I’m sure I’m not the first to turn blood orange juice into a shrub, I didn’t see much out there on the internet to guide my hunch. So I re-read the technique for cold brew shrubs laid out by Michael Dietsch on Serious Eats and adapted to suit my needs.

I juiced 4 blood oranges, which yielded 3/4 cup of juice. Out of blood oranges, and wanting to get to a full cup of juice, I also sliced and squeezed an aging navel orange that had been rolling around the crisper. Despite looking a little desiccated, it served admirably and provided the needed volume.

blood oranges

I combined the 1 cup of juice with 1 cup sugar and let them sit until the sugar was entirely dissolved. This took about an hour (I did give it a quick stir every time I walked by, to help things along). Once there were no visible signs of granulated sugar in the juice, I added 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and stirred it all together.

blood orange juice

The recipe I was adapting from used a 1:1:1 ratio for the juice, sugar and fruit, but I chose to use a bit less vinegar so that the delicate flavor of the blood oranges wasn’t drowned out by the brute force pucker of the vinegar. I’m happy with the results, as the finished shrub is wonderfully assertive and fruity.

finished shrub

My favorite way to use this shrub (which I just store in the fridge, cooking does bad things to blood orange juice) is to simply combine a couple soup spoons full in a glass with sparkling water. Though I haven’t tried it yet, I do believe it would be really good with a splash of gin.

I also imagine it has a world of possible applications in cooking. Imagine deglazing a pan of chicken with this shrub instead of some wine. Instant blood orange chicken (follow that sauce up with a dollop of blood orange marmalade to emphasize the flavor).

 

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37 responses to “Blood Orange Shrub”

  1. I Must Buy A Sodastream! And while “blood orange chicken” conjures up yucky images, I am sure I can can over it to enjoy some delicious poultry!

  2. I’m been drinking a “free” cherry shrub this winter. It’s the liquid leftover after I eat the cherries from your Pickled Sweet Cherries. For anyone who pickles fruit its a great way to use the leftover liquid. Dilute with club soda as outlined above.

    • Feeling the “free” shrub love too. I too drink the juice from pickled peaches and pears. They also go great in hot toddys.

  3. […] just learned about fruit shrubs from one of my favorite foodie websites: Food In Jars. Her Blood Orange Shrub is on my to-do list, since our CSA sent us a few red naval oranges this […]

  4. A couple of ideas… my mother makes delicious blackberry vinegar for drinking, wonderful stuff, especially hot on winter evenings. Also picked up some ‘orange-cello’ in France this summer based on bitter Seville oranges, the ones that marmalade is made from. Divine.

  5. I am addicted to shrubs and different flavors that can be made! I am adding mine to water kefir. Probiotics, antioxidants, and natural carbonation! What could possibly be better?

  6. Great recipe! I’ve used it several times. Just keep replenishing the bottle in my fridge. I would add only 1 suggestion: I add a whole dried chipotle chile to the shrub. Adds a nice smoky spiciness that goes really well with margaritas or even bourbon (2oz Bourbon, .75oz blood orange shrub, .5 oz sherry, bitters, stir over ice, strain).

    -K

    • It will keep at least a month or two. You’ll know it’s time to discard it when it gets really cloudy or starts to develop patchy bits of mold.

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