Red Beet and Peppercorn Shrub

Adapted from Shrubs by Michael Dietsch

For this recipe, I used a mix of apple cider vinegar and distilled white vinegar. I don’t normally like distilled white vinegar in shrubs, as it can overwhelm delicate berries and stone fruits. But beets are gutsy, and they can handle the stronger flavor.

If you have a favorite recipe for pickled beets, try adding spices from that recipe to this one. For example, if you like bay leaves and mustard seeds in your pickled beets, they’ll work well in this shrub, too. Add them along with—or instead of—the peppercorns and kosher salt.

Ingredients

Yield: 3 cups

  • 5 beets, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions
  1. Add beets and both vinegars to blender. Blend until pureed.
  2. Press puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl. You should have about 2-3 cups beet juice and vinegar.
  3. Add beet juice and vinegar mixture, sugar, peppercorns, and kosher salt to a nonreactive container. Cover and allow to steep for one day. Taste. If it’s not peppery enough, give it another day.
  4. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl and pour mixture through to remove solids.
  5. Bottle and store in refrigerator.