Mr Colonial Cravings again with another boozy post. I had been threatening for some time to do another shrub and, when recently perusing our local supermarket I decided that pomegranate would be an excellent fruit to use in one. I was warned by Mrs Colonial Cravings about how finicky pomegranate is to deal with, and it turned out that she was once again correct! However, I’m glad I persevered as it makes a lovely base for a tasty shrub and I’d say it was well worth the effort.
2 parts pomegranate juice
1 part white wine vinegar
1 part sugar
2 sprigs of rosemary
This is incredibly simple to make and as with the previous shrub it’s very tasty as either the basis of a soft drink or as a cocktail ingredient. Start by juicing your pomegranates (much better to try this with a blender and sieve, otherwise you’re left with the task of forcing it manually through a sieve a few seeds at a time which takes ages – believe me I know!). The reason this recipe is noted in ‘parts’ is simply because the amount of juice extracted from your pomegranates can vary massively based on your fruit and the time you’re willing to put into juice extraction.
Once you have your juice, measure out half the same volume of sugar in a bowl, add one of the sprigs of rosemary to the sugar and then lightly press them together. Don’t bash it too hard otherwise you risk extracting the bitter chlorophyll from the leaves as well as the flavourful oils we want, so be gentle. Once you’ve got it started, leave it to one side (for at least 15mins) and the sugar will continue to extract and absorb the herb oils for you from the lacerations in the herb.
Combine the herbs and sugar, juice and vinegar together in a jar and shake until mixed together. Leave the jar in a dark, room temperature location for a couple of days and then remove the rosemary and store the liquid shrub in the fridge. It should now last for some time, at least a few months, although I’m sure you’ll have consumed it a lot sooner than that!
I’ve use this in a refreshing and simple gin based cocktail by combining equal parts gin and shrub and then topping up with soda water in a rocks glass finishing off with a garnish of fresh rosemary to emphasize the fragrance. As ever though, feel free to adjust the relative levels based on your own tastes as you build the drink. I’m confident that whichever way you go it’ll still go down very easily!