What in the world is a shrub, or Why would I drink vinegar??
Shrubs are the colonial version of sipping vinegars; switchel is specifically used for the ginger version. When pirates and sailors from England and Spain “discovered” Asia, this is one of the things they brought back with them – a delicious way to preserve fruit and keep water drinkable, no matter how “bottom of the barrel” it was.
Our drinking vinegars are made with distilled white vinegar, cane sugar, and fruit. Why use white vinegar? The flavor of the vinegar changes the flavor of the shrub considerably, and we want our sipping vinegars to highlight the fruit, not the vinegar. Our exception is the Honey line (ginger, mint or lemon), which is as close to the colonial recipe we can get (apple cider vinegar, and honey for sweetening).
I learned to make sipping vinegars as a little girl, taught by my great-uncle Steve and my great-aunt Lette. I’ve adjusted their recipe a bit, of course – Steve’s original is notoriously short on the measurements the Department of Ag kind of likes us to have, and letting the shrub sit for two weeks isn’t practical – but they gave their seal of approval on the final product and were excited to see it becoming a popular item!
We make our shrubs using fruit from family farms in Oregon and Southwest Washington (along with Florida and California for the citrus). Some of our most common suppliers are SunGold Farm, Happy Harvest, Kiyokawa Orchards, Persephone Farm, Fairview Orchards, the Orange Shop, Big B Farm, and Maryhill Orchards.
Where else can I find you online?
Facebook, of course, is a great way to keep up, and we update frequently there with both upcoming shows and available flavors. Make an account here on the site and I'll send you a newsletter (approximately) quarterly, and maybe new flavor updates when something new comes in. We are trying to get in the habit of using Twitter; you can follow us @sageandseashrub.