by Beth Goodwin
We make an awesome variety of delicious beverages each week at AOOA ~ from our signature Iced Tea Special and complimentary flavored water, to our farm fizzes and shrubs.
What’s a farm fizz and why not just call it a soda?
A farm fizz is our housemade syrup or shrub mixed with our (also housemade) fizzy water. I don’t use the word ‘soda’ to avoid associations with Big Food but, yes, for all intents & purposes, it’s a soda! Albeit, a more thirst-quenching wholesome version than one that you buy in a store.
What’s a shrub?
A shrub is a type of syrup base with vinegar as a main component in addition to fruit and sugar. Also called a ‘drinking vinegar,’ shrubs have been around since the 16th century and are a fine and mighty alternative to kombucha – also excellent in cocktails!
We make our syrups and shrubs in all types of flavors from the ingredients we grow on the farm. At the farm stand, I’m particularly infatuated with our brand-new and super-seasonal Concord Grape Shrub! Full-bodied Concord grape flavor with a sweet & tart finish - utter perfection as you begin to taste fall in the air.
You can make your own syrups at home with herbs from AOOA or your own garden! It’s fun, easy, deliciously rewarding, and kid-friendly too! Fantastic in your own fizzy water–or in a cocktail for adults!
AOOA HERB SYRUP - Basic Method / Recipe
Herbs of your choice
Organic Cane Sugar
Place your herbs in a container with a lid (a Rubbermaid container, Tupperware, or similar is great).
Cover herbs with sugar and squeeze the herbs into the sugar to break it all down a little bit and start the infusion. Cover with cold water; you want a slushy/slurry consistency. It’s okay if a few herb leaves are sticking out.
Cover the container with an airtight lid and place it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. The sugar should slowly dissolve over this time. After 1-2 weeks, strain with a fine mesh strainer, and voila, syrup! You may have a little residual sugar at the bottom of your container when you’re done draining - you can discard it, include this in your syrup as is, or dissolve it over a double boiler.
AOOA SHRUB - Basic Method / Recipe
Fruit of your choice
Organic Cane Sugar
Delicious Vinegar - we love a local apple cider vinegar, but rice wine vinegar or fine white wine vinegar would also work
Mash, slice, or puree your fruit and cover it with sugar; stir to combine. Let that mixture sit covered in the fridge for 1-3 days. Puree, and then blend with vinegar to taste until you get a balance of sweet and tart and smoothie-like consistency. Strain (optional) if you desire a smoother texture.