Once you've graduated from the Strawberry Shrub, it's time to incorporate fresh herbs. A noseful of basil pairs well with most fruits and I am partial to swooning over its combination with fresh plums. Indeed, on the road to this shrub I ate fistfuls of torn green leaves wrapped around slices of bleeding plums. While sugar is drawing liquid out of the plums it is similarly going to work on the basil, extracting flavor compounds and suspending them in syrup with the plum juice. The result is a bruise of most exquisite quality.
- 600 grams Plums (I trust your judgement, pick something flavorful)
- 75 grams Basil Leaves
- 275 grams Palm Sugar
- 2 cups Golden Balsamic Vinegar
- Cut your plums and remove the pits.
- Tear the basil leaves into shreds.
- Pulverize the palm sugar (if you're using the variety that is sold in bricks).
- In a large bowl combine the plums, basil, and sugar. Squish the mixture with your curious fingers, make a mess.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Strain the solids from the syrup with a mesh sieve.
- Add the syrup to a quart jar and mix in the vinegar. Let this sit, covered, at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Put the jar in your fridge and enjoy the changing flavor in the coming months. Mellowing!