Mango Ginger Shrub
2 cups diced mango, smashed slightly with a fork
1 ½ cups cane sugar
1 tbsp. ginger (preferably organic), skin on and grated
1 ¾ cup apple cider vinegar, with “mother” preferred (distilled white vinegar can be used)
3-4 oz. soda water (can be club soda, tonic water, seltzer or flavored sparkling water)
Fold the sugar into the mango and ginger in a non-reactive container such as a glass or plastic bowl or large jar. Cover with a tea towel, if needed secure with a rubber band, and let the mixture rest in a cool dark place for 48 hours, stirring twice during this time with a plastic or rubber spatula. It’s a good idea to set alarms on your phone or leave a note to yourself in a visible place to remind you to do the stirring. During this 48 hour period, you will start to see bubbles forming in the mixture which means the fermentation process has begun and those bubbles will increase over those two days. At the end of 48 hours, strain the liquid from the fruit using a fine mesh strainer and combine the liquid with the vinegar in a glass jar that can accommodate both. If you don’t have a fine-mesh strainer, you can use a regular strainer with 3-4 layers of cheesecloth. Once combined, put a lid on the jar and age it in the refrigerator for 10 days. It can keep for 6 months in the refrigerator.
To make the shrub, combine one ounce of the ferment per three to four ounces of sparkling beverage. It can be garnished with mint, fruit zest, berries or other flavors. This recipe is highly customizable by swapping out other fruits like strawberries, pears or blueberries for the mango. Replacing the ginger with aromatics like turmeric, vanilla or omitting it entirely is also an option.
Because this refreshing elixir contains ginger and is fermented, it offers some great immune system support. Ginger is known to have strong anti-inflammatory properties and is great for settling an upset stomach. Fermentation is a process that produces unique probiotics that are great for gut health and helps to keep internal flora in balance and diverse. Together these two elements pack a lot of benefits while still being fun and interesting to the palate. Enjoy!