Pear-Fennel Shrub (Drinking Vinegar)
Yield: Makes 1 quart
This beverage, both tart and sweet, stimulates the appetite and quenches thirst. Add a dash to sparkling water or your favorite cocktail.
Combine pears, sugar and fennel seeds in a glass bowl. Use a wooden spoon to gently break up the fruit. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 and up to 24 hours, until a syrup has formed.
Add vinegar and salt, stirring to combine. Cover and return to the refrigerator. Let age for at least one week. Pour the mixture through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer into a clean, sterile jar, pressing lightly to release all of the juices from the fruit. Store for one more week before using, or until the flavors are fully developed. Store refrigerated up to 6 months; shake before using.