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When the British Empire was at its peak, a common drink in hot countries was a shrub -- basically, fruit, soda water and vinegar.  Vinegar serves as a cooling agent and our modern balsamic vinegars give flavor without sugar.

Our balsamic vinegars make great shrubs.  We'll give general directions and then you can experiment.

Strawberry Peach Shrub

2 cups sliced strawberries

1 cup Peach or Apricot Balsamic Vinegar

Sparkling water

Place sliced strawberries in a jar along with the Balsamic Vinegar.  Let it sit for 4 hours.  Drain the liquid into a container -- this is your shrub base.  Refrigerate up to 1 week.

(Eat the strawberries on cake, yogurt or just by themselves.)

To make a shrub, put a tablespoon or two in a glass with ice.  Add sparkling water and enjoy.

Note:  You can make a champagne cocktail with this base by putting about a teaspoon in the bottom of a glass and adding champagne.

Grapefruit Cucumber Shrub

1 cup Grapefruit Balsamic Vinegar

2 cups sliced cucumber

Use directions above

Ginger Apple Shrub

1 cup Gravenstein Apple Balsamic Vinegar

6 quarter-size slices fresh ginger

Use directions above