Blackcurrant & lemon verbena shrub

Blackcurrant & lemon verbena shrub

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Prep: 10 mins Cook: 5 mins plus 5-6 days macerating

Easy

approx 1 litre

A shrub is a fruit syrup preserved with vinegar to capture the flavours of the fresh fruit. Shrubs are packed with probiotics, which are great for digestion

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan

Nutrition: per 100ml serving (diluted with water)

  • kcal14
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs3g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0g
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Ingredients

  • 600g blackcurrants, washed and stems removed
    Blackcurrants

    Blackcurrants

    black-cuh-rant

    The most intensely coloured and flavoured of all currants, blackcurrants are highly aromatic and…

  • 4 tbsp dried or fresh lemon verbena leaves
  • 300g sugar
    Sugar

    Sugar

    shuh-ga

    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 400ml raw cider vinegar
  • fizzy or still water, to serve
  • lemon verbena or lemon balm sprig, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. First, sterilise a large jar or bottle. Wash in hot, soapy water, then place on a baking tray and put in a low oven for 10 mins or until completely dry. Put the blackcurrants in the warm sterilised jar and set aside. Make an infusion with 500ml boiling water and the lemon verbena, then stir through the sugar. Pour over the blackcurrants, stir and leave to cool. Cover with a lid, then put in the fridge. Every day for about 5 days, gently shake the jar.

  2. By this time, the fruit should have macerated in the sugary tea. Tip into a pan with the vinegar and gently bring to a very light simmer for about 5 mins. Allow to cool to room temperature, then strain through a muslin-lined, fine mesh sieve into a large, sterilised jar and seal with a lid.

  3. Keep it in the fridge and serve topped up with fizzy or still water – add a sprig of fresh verbena or lemon balm if you like. Will keep in the fridge for up to 4 months.

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