This jammy, tangy blackberry shrub gets extra flavor and a little caffeine from the addition of black tea. Try it with a bergamot black tea!
American fruit-based drinking vinegars like shrubs and switchels have their roots in 19th century America when extra fruit was preserved in vinegar. However, the cooling, energizing, even medicinal tradition of consuming vinegar dates back to ancient cultures from Rome and Greece to China and Japan. The Samurai drank a fortifying blend of herbs and rice vinegar from the 1600ds and the Babylonians used date palm vinegar 5,000 years ago. Today, drinking vinegar is making a comeback, brightening and adding flavor to drinks, cocktails and sodas. The simple addition of tea adds extra flavor and caffeine for a more powerful afternoon pick me up. Try this recipe as a base and then experiment with other variations… hibiscus raspberry, oolong apple, green tea rhubarb. The options are endless!
In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of ripe blackberries, 1 cup of sugar, 1 Tablespoon of black tea. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring and mashing the fruit all the while.
Next, strain the cooked fruit into a glass storage jar, again mashing the fruit with a spoon until you get all of the juices out.
Then, add 3/4 cup of good red wine vinegar. Put a lid on the jar and then shake to combine.
Add a splash of blackberry lack tea shrub to still or sparking water or sparkling wine to taste.