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A shrub is an acidulated drink originally crafted to preserve seasonal fruit. From ancient Persia to colonial America, many regions have had their own versions throughout history. Shrubs have been called drinking vinegars, sekahnjebins, switchels and sharbahs. Typically, a shrub is made by soaking the fruit of choice in vinegar for a length of time, after which the fruit is strained off and the vinegar retained and mixed with a sweetener. While shrubs typically utilize cane sugar, oxymels specifically use honey as the sweetener. The word oxymel is comprised of the Latin words for "acid" and "honey." Prescribed by Hippocrates, oxymels became a panacea in Greece and other regions. Though popular for centuries, shrubs and oxymels fell out of fashion with the advent of home refrigeration and modern medicine. Now, due to the complexity of flavor and the myriad of uses, shrubs have experienced a revival. Hyldemoer + Co.'s shrubs and oxymels are different than others you might find on the market. With higher concentrations of fruit and less added sugar, our shrubs and oxymels provide a healthful and delicious punch of flavor suitable for many applications.
While shrub was traditionally used with rum in early America, it was used throughout Rome and the Middle East as a flavoring in water long before it first arrived in The New World. And oxymels had their place in many a Grecian's medicine cabinet. Today the uses for shrubs and oxymels are as diverse as their histories. We’ve used our shrubs and oxymels on just about anything you can think of in the kitchen. When a splash of either is added to sparkling water, it's a great afternoon pick me up. When combined with olive oil it makes a flavorful salad dressing. Try it in your next BBQ sauce for pork or chicken or even as a sundae topping. The most obvious and delicious use for shrubs and oxymels, though, are in cocktails, whether virgin or full proof. Dave's favorite is with egg nog, or try Heather's favorite with White Chocolate Liqueur, its miraculous!
Hyldemoer + Co.’s shrub and oxymels are hand crafted and cold-aged in small batches using locally sourced fruit based on our own hand-picked, Certified Naturally Grown North American Black Elderberry and Roselle. Our minimally processed shrubs are seasonal, and this means we use only the freshest ingredients. And because our shrubs are low in sugar you can decide how sweet you want your creations to be. For more information about our farm and commitment, please see www.HyldemoerFarms.com.