Shrubs are a delicious way to preserve fruit and also make yourself your own fruit cordial with nothing like the amount of sugar you will find in soft drinks. Drinking vinegars are a traditional British way of using up fruit that has fallen out of favour but are an excellent way to make a cordial that will be equally delicious for designated drivers or with a splash of spiced rum.
1 punnet of fresh cranberries
3 -star anise
Half a cup of maple syrup or raw honey
Half a cup of water.
Cup of cider vinegar
1) Warm the cranberries through with the water and star anise for about 10 mins. You just want the cranberries to collapse and the star anise to begin to release its flavour.
2) Remove the star anise and set aside, add the honey or maple, and the vinegar and blitz it all in a blender.
3) Pour into a jar and add the star anise back in along with the orange zest and refrigerate. Can be used for up to 4 days. It will mellow as it ages. Make sure you taste it, as you might prefer it a little sweeter - this is a very elastic recipe.
4) Dilute with sparkling water, prosecco, fresh orange juice with rum or gin. We recommend one part shrub to 6 parts fizzy water.