We sampled a range of homemade drinks at this month’s Secret Garden Club meeting, using flavours easily harvested or foraged at this time of year.
Shrub is a traditional English drink which became popular in Colonial times, especially in the Southern states of the US. Shrub can be either alcoholic or non-alcoholic and it’s typically a berry-flavoured drink made with an acidifier to give the sweetness a sharp tang. It’s known to be very refreshing in hot weather.
To make raspberry vinegar, steep 600g raspberries in 600ml white vinegar for 3-4 days, then boil up with sugar to taste for 10 minutes or so. Strain and pour into a sterilised bottle.
Blackberry syrup, for mixing with Prosecco, Cava or any other sparkling wine
Remove stalks and as much of the hairy bits from the rosehips as you can easily manage. Give them a quick rinse and dry and blitz in a food processor for a few seconds until pulverised. Scrape the chopped fruit into a pan with the water and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes, then leave to stand with the pan covered for around 20-30 minutes.