Last week I turned some of our rhubarb into a delicious honey shrub following Erica's directions over at Northwest Edible Life. We had never tasted a shrub before in this house and it sounded interesting. One of the primary ingredients in a shrub is vinegar and I used some of the wonderful apple cider vinegar left from our cider pressing.
One batch made about 3/4 of this bottle. Aldi's sells imported lemonade in these bottles for about $3; I rinse them out and save them. They're really useful in the kitchen. I figured out that my plants are Victoria rhubarb so they don't have the typical bright pink color. The orangish color here probably comes from the cider vinegar and honey.
We are really pleased with how this turned out. It's a wonderfully addicting drink that is so, so much better than any soda. You just need a splash of it over ice and then fill the rest of the glass with carbonated water. The vinegar and sugars give it a bright sweet/sour flavor - almost like a very good quality tonic water but much better. I'd imagine a splash of vodka or gin in here would be amazing too.
There have been a handful of times since my mother's death when I've felt her presence very strongly. Strangely enough this was one of them; standing in the kitchen teaching my two year old how to make a (non-alcoholic) "fancy drink". I could feel a third person in the room with us and I felt a bit happy and embarrassed at the same time. Mom had some pretty strong and somewhat comical ideas about drinking. She would have been less than impressed with her grandson learning to stir a mocktail. "Yeah, I know." I said out loud.
The little man and I took our drinks out on the porch and sat together watching for my husband to come home from work. We watched the cars go past and talked about the birds. We watched our cat Bee get "chased" by a bumble bee. It was wonderful quiet time. "Happy hour" might just turn into a regular thing around here.