Babylonians, Romans, seafaring sailors and gold-rush pioneers all drank shrubs for sheer joy and to steer off illnesses. As naturally preserved and fermented foods are re-entering our diets, vinegar based shrubs are slowly finding their limelight.
200g sugar (the quantity may be more or less depending on how ripe the fruit is)
Vanilla bean paste or extract (to taste)
250ml Apple cider vinegar
Halve and pit the plums then bring them with the sugar and 250ml of water to the boil. let simmer for 10 minutes max. We are not after a jam! Add the vinegar and mix well. Add the vanilla at this point so you can check the strength that you prefer. When cooled down you have two options, push it all through a sieve with large holes or blend it, loosing no pulp or skin. Pour into a pot or large jar and let it sit for a day or two. When serving, the quantity to follow is 1/4th of the plum-vanilla shrub topped up with sparkling water. Add a few ice cubes for added refreshment. This stuff is good for you!!!!