Do you know about shrubs? They're drinks made with fruit, sugar, and vinegar. They were popular in the colonial era--both mixed with booze and mixed with water as a non-alcoholic "day drink"--and are now enjoying a comeback as trendy craft cocktails.
If you haven't tried one, you're probably thinking, "Drink vinegar? Ew!" But the vinegar really just gives the berries and sugar complexity. It's not truly sour; just a little "wang" on the back of your tongue.
As the recipe set out, I made my shrub using the cold method (so I mixed it all together and let it steep in the fridge for a few days rather than warming the ingredients together on the stove), and I was really happy with how it came out. By not cooking it, the flavor of the blueberries and ginger came through nice and fresh and juicy.
This afternoon, when my shrub syrup was done, I strained off the berries and spent some time mixing up a few drinks.
For the boozy version, Sweet Husband and I decided we liked it with about two ounces of syrup, an ounce and a half of bourbon, a dash of bitters, and the rest of a (eight ounce) jam jar filled with tonic.
As I said above, the vinegar gives the concoction some depth of flavor, and as a result the drink tasted like something you'd get at a fancy cocktail place. Sweet Husband opined that rye might be better than bourbon--so we may experiment with that still--but I was quite pleased with it as it was.
For the non-alcoholic version, I poured two ounces of shrub syrup over ice and then filled the (again eight ounce) glass with tonic. I thought the shrub was fine that way, too, but Little Miss was over the moon for it. The "fizzy drink" was such a hit that I could definitely see us making more (and experimenting with different kinds) this summer in order to make the kids a fun drink when mama and dada have our grown-up versions on warm Friday nights.