The word “shrub” is from the Arabic word sharab meaning to drink. Historically, there are two kinds, the first is a fruit liqueur that was popular in 17th and 18th century England, and was usually made with brandy or rum mixed with sugar and usually the juice or rinds of a citrus fruit. The second was popular in American colonial times and was usually made of a vinegared syrup, mixed with spirits, water, or carbonated water. The latter, vinegar one, is still popular today but my paternal grandmother, Helen S. Wright was more keen on the English version. She included a recipe for shrub made with currants in her book, Old Time Recipes for Home made Wines, published in 1909. Photo Credit Marie-Lan Nguyen Wikimedia Commons
In the words of my grandmother:
Take white currants when quite ripe, pick them off the stalks, and bruise them. Strain out the juice through a cloth, and to two quarts of the juice put two pounds of loaf sugar; when it is dissolved, add one gallon of rum, then strain through a flannel bag that will keep in the jelly, and it will run off clear. Then bottle for use.
To buy Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wines by Helen S. Wright from Amazon.com Click Here.