We drove to our first u-pick berry farm in Siletz, Oregon. Together my husband and I picked 17 pounds of blueberries in an hour and a half. We each used 2 buckets, one to hang around the neck and the other to pour the berries into. The blueberry plants are planted in rows and on the day we were there the Jersey blueberries were available. They are dark blue, medium sized and very sweet.
The first thing I decided to make was a shrub. A shrub is a drinking vinegar that has been infused with fruit and mixed with soda water. It's an easy but time consuming process. The first step is to boil the vinegar and sugar together. When sugar is dissolved pour over crushed berries in a glass jar and let sit in a cool place for four days. The mixture is then strained and put into another clean glass jar and refrigerated.
It is suggested that you check the shrub about once a week until the flavor mellows and the drink is to your liking. Mine was drinkable after one week. This recipe has been slightly adapted from the Bon Appetit July 2015 magazine. The original recipe click here uses white wine vinegar but I used red wine vinegar and was very happy with the results.
1 cup blueberries
1 quart heat proof glass jar (I used a ball jar)
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
In a small saucepan bring sugar and wine vinegar to a boil. Remove from heat and stir sugar until dissolved. In a glass jar add blueberries and then sugar vinegar mixture. Crush berries gently with a fork to release more flavor. Seal jar and store in a cool dark place.
For each drink combine 3 tablespoons shrub with 1 cup of club soda in a glass filled with ice. Enjoy!