Shrub is a term that can be applied to two different types of drinks The first goes back to 17th century England and refers to a combination of citrus juice and either rum or brandy while the other goes back to American colonial times and refers to a drink containing vinegar. My paternal grandmother, Helen S. Wright includes two recipe for the English style shrub in her book, Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wines, but does not mention the American colonial style.
Here are the two recipes for shrub in my grandmother’s words:
#1 Brandy Shrub
Take two quarts of brandy, and put it in a large bottle, adding to it the juice of five lemons, the peels of two, and one-half a nutmeg. Stop it up and let it stand three days, and add to it three pints of white wine, one and one-half pounds of sugar. Mix it, strain it twice through a flannel, and bottle it up. It is a pretty wine, and a cordial.
#2 Fine Brandy Shrub
Take one ounce of citric acid, one pint of porter, one and one-half pints of raisin wine, one gill of orange-flower water, one gallon of good brandy, two and one-quarter quarts of water. First, dissolve the citric acid in water, then add to it the brandy; next, mix the raisin wine, porter, and orange-flower water together; and lastly, mix the whole, and in a week or ten days it will be ready for drinking and of a very mellow flavor.
To buy Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wines by Helen S. Wright Click Here.