Shrub generally requires equal parts of fruit, vinegar and sugar, but everyone has their own preferences. I suggest that you start out with an equal 1:1:1 ratio, If you find the mixture to be too sweet for your liking, add a bit of extra vinegar. And keep in mind that if you use a really sweet fruit, your shrub will get sweeter as it sits. The best fruit to use for shrubs are juicy and sweet stone fruits or berries.
If you're looking for your shrub to last through the seasons, I suggest you visit this webpage which will tell you how to can and preserve shrubs properly and sanitarily. My recipe is the fast-track, short and easy version that will last for a week or two in the fridge. My shrubs go too quickly for me to bother with full on preservation, so I usually don't bother unless I want to make a batch that stays good for a long time.
Shrubs can be served with plain seltzer water, or used to dress up cocktails and fancy drinks. Start with 2 tbsp of shrub per 8 oz of seltzer or club soda. Increase the amount of shrub based on your own preference.
2 cups fresh fruit
2 cups vinegar (white balsamic is my favorite- it's sweet and subtle)
2 cups sugar
Optional whole spices or peels (black peppercorns, orange peel, fennel seeds, cinnamon etc.)
Peach and white balsamic
Plum, black peppercorns and golden balsamic
Nectarine, orange peel, pink peppercorns and white balsamic
Strawberry, black peppercorns and balsamic
Berries, lemon peel, pink peppercorns and white vinegar
Mango, jalapeño and golden balsamic
Strawberry, basil and white balsamic
Step 1. Cut your fruit up into medium chunks and toss it in a glass bowl or a plastic tupperware
Step 2. Add 1.5 cups of sugar and smash the fruit and sugar together with a fork until the fruit juice starts to dissolve the sugar granules
Step 3. Add the vinegar and taste. If you want it sweeter add the last half a cup of sugar.
Step 4. Stir together, and cover tightly with plastic wrap or a lid
Step 5. Let the mixture sit overnight in the refrigerator, up to a full 24 hours
Step 6. Strain through mesh strainer and store in a tightly sealed mason jar
Step 7. Mix with seltzer water or your favorite cocktail and enjoy!
To make shrub chutney, save the fruit from the shrub mixture that has been sitting overnight. Chop it into small pieces, and toss it in a small pot with 1 small sliced shallot, 1 tsp curry powder, 2 tsp grated ginger, and 1/4 of your choice of fruit juice. Season with salt and pepper, and let it cook on medium low until it reaches a jam like consistency- about 10 minutes. If it needs more liquid or it's getting too thick as it cooks, add a little bit more fruit juice or water. Then let it cool in a mason jar, seal, and use within 2 weeks. Feel free to play around and add spices like coriander, fennel seeds, or mustard seeds.