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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Oh, girl. I need this now. “Drinking vinegar” might not sound appetizing to all people, but I think it sounds divine – along the same lines as kombucha, yum!
I’m totally going to try this with my abundant tangerines. Thank you!
That’s what I was thinking… tangerines.
(and maybe a raspberry vinegar instead of the apple cider)
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!
Any spices in it? – thinking cinnamon or cardamon….will definitely try it.
I’ve never had a “shrub” before like this; it sounds so inticing! I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks.
I’ve never heard of a shrub, so interesting, I definitely want to try!
Sounds delicious, especially with gin 😉
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.
Oooh, I’ve never heard of shrub before, it looks so amazing! I will have to try it!
We had been given a lot of slightly tart blood oranges and this was the perfect use for them! Delicious!
never heard of a shrub – thanks for the education. sounds delicious, and it’s so pretty.
I’d like to try this with rhubarb when it starts showing up at the farmers market.
I think that would be VERY good.
I’ve been obsessively making your ginger syrup…. it looks like this is to be next on my list. Yum.
Currently drinking this shrub (drinking while I type, even!) with a splash of Hendrick’s Gin and it is ambrosial.
Casey, I’m so happy to hear you like it. I bet the brightness of the Hendrick’s is perfect with it!
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.
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?
Adding vinegar earlier will help dissolve the sugar.
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).
How long will the shrub keep in the fridge?
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.
Thanks for your advice mentioning “cooking blood orange” is not a good idea. I could not fresh blood oranges so ive just bought fresh quality blood orange juice. You know i put raspberry vinegar to blood orange shrub so the vinegar won’t be to heavy indead. Greetings from Holland