For the longest time it looked like the blueberries may or may not come in - they were wizening (yes, this is one of my favorite words. I also made it up. Look up "wizened") on the bush before ever ripening. It's like they went from unripe berry - to dried fruit. It was sad.
And then we got 2 inches and then 5 inches of rain (in 2 days. Yes. A LOT of water), and voila! Berries. Just in the nick of time.
I love pies, and jams and whatnot - but dude. I live in a tin can, and it's effing HOT outside. Turning on the oven, or slaving over a stove, is completely not on my list of things I want to be doing right now. And then a few of the blogs I subscribe to started mentioning 'shrub syrups'. Better yet - a cold processed and therefore a way to do it with NO time on the stove! I was in love.
In a nutshell, here's what I did:
Start with one cup of berries.
|I used half of these.|
When I pulled it out the next day, not the biggest change. Nevertheless, I pushed forward and put the whole thing in a "cheesecloth lined strainer" (see here for appropriate rant on cheesecloth). Blueberries have really thick skins and these weren't the juiciest (see aforementioned rant on lack of rain and wizening...), so putting them through "cheesecloth" (read: flour sack towel of the cheapest variety) didn't do anything, really. I got a teensy amount of juice, but really not anything proportionate to the amount of berries I put in it.
|This is after an hour. No joke.|
So I poured the vinegar over the leftover berries in the strainer, and mashed it around a bit thus essentially giving the berry husks a second spoon-squeezing ordeal to go through.
|Vinegar. That is a measuring cup, not a sauce pan. I can understand your confusion.|
|Strained + Vinegared - you can see the tiny seeds at the bottom. Ignore those.|
|Shrub with club soda.|
*just remember that apple cider vinegar can have a laxative effect - especially if you're sensitive to it, or if you drink a lot of it. It won't harm you, but it might not be pleasant if you drink too much. The good news? You'd have to drink a lot of the shrub syrup to get that effect. I'm just sayin'