Ah Scrub’s, those old fashion vinegar based drinks, before pop there was the refreshing Scrub. It makes sense because it was a way to take fresh fruit that would spoil fast in the heat in a time when there was no fridge and make it last a lot longer.
In a nut shell, it’s a mix of fruit or herbs that are made into a juice, mixed with a sweet hit be that sugar or honey and combined with plain or flavoured vinegar.
The mix between fruit and sugar can be as equal are 50-50 or it can be as low as 75% fruit with 25% sugar and that finished fruit or herb syrup is blended at 2/3rd fruit syrup to 1/3rd of a vinegar..
Now you can use a touch less vinegar to start with if you find it a touch much, but you want to create a mix of sweet and sour to the drink.
Today I very finely cut up 12 cups of rhubarb and then gave them a smash with potato masher and covered them in sugar and into the fridge for a cold process scrub. The cold process will produce a intense color and flavour in the juice that is pulled out of the fruit.
I will be heading out a bit later today to collect a number of lilac flowers and will be making a lilac version of this.. I also adore my elderflower in this drink!
A mint version is one of the most popular drinks on the farm in the early spring here on the farm. I do love a good mix of rhubarb and Nettle in a Shrub.. two of the earliest plants that tend to be ready at the same time.
Spring Rhubarb with Nettle Tea Shrub
4 cups of coarsely chopped Rhubarb stalks
1 cup of cleaned coarsely chopped Nettles Leaves
2 cup of sugar
Half a cup of White Wine Vinegar
Tiny pinch of Salt
Place above into a steel pot and add six cups of water, simmer gently till the rhubarb is cooked though, pour though a cheese cloth, straining it out, if you want a pure sweet color, do not squeeze the bag at all, or if you are like me and it matters not at all that is cloudy and might have bits in the bottom of the jar, get every last bit of goodness out of it.
Put in a clean jar or jug and chill till cold, work up a sweat in the garden or yard It is the most lovely pink color, almost like the fake pink lemonade from the store but so much more healthy for you!