A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the launch of the summer issue of the Chilterns Food Magazine at the beautiful Wild Strawberry Cafe at Peterley Manor Farm (well worth a visit if you’re out these ways), celebrating food from the local area. The Chilterns sits just to the north-west of London, and it’s where i’m lucky to call my home. It’s one of those places that often sits in the shadows of the Cotswolds, but the Chiltern Hills definitely stands alone as a scenic place to live. Chilterns Food Magazine celebrates all things local, and I’m a firm believer that food should be as seasonal and local as your purse and lifestyle dictates, whether you’re vegan or not.
The drink recipes in this magazine have got my thirst needing to be well and truly quenched, and having never heard of a ‘shrub’ before seeing this recipe, although a little time-consuming, looks well worth the effort. It turns out “shrubs were originally colonial drinks, the name coming from the Arabic word sharab which simply means, to drink. They are made from fruit, sugar and vinegar and are left to ferment and infuse, sometimes overnight, sometimes for longer.”
Raspberry and Thyme Shrub
Makes approx 500ml
2 cups of raspberries
1 cup of raw cane sugar
8 thyme sprigs
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
- Wash and slice the raspberries and mix with the sugar in a bowl, cover and leave to infuse for two days.
- Put the thyme sprigs in a non-reactive container (so not metallic) and cover with the apple cider vinegar (use unpasteurized otherwise you get a cloudy drink), cover and leave in a cool dark place for two days.
- Strain the raspberres through a non-metallic strainer and pour the vinegar over the top.
- Place the combined shrub into a sealed glass bottle give it a good old shake then leave in your fridge for a week before using.
This method is a slightly longer process but the way the flavours combine make the effort worthwhile.
To get your Gin game on, find your local provider of Gin and add 50ml of gin with 30ml of this shrub!
Recipe from: Chilterns Food Magazine
Photography: Jamie Orlando Smith