Tangelo and native thyme shrub is an easy way to make use of seasonal tangelo fruit and pair it with an Australian native flavour.
The Tangelo is a hybrid citrus fruit, a cross between a mandarin orange or tangerine and grapefruit (pomelo). It has the skin of an orange, the fragrance of mandarins with the refreshing tart flavour of grapefruit. The fruit resembles an orange with a more oval shape and is in season in Australia between July and October.
Shrubs, or drinking vinegars are an easy way of preserving seasonal fruit for cocktails. The combination of fruit, sugar and vinegar is enhanced with an Australian native herb. Native thyme is an aromatic herb with a minty quality and peppery note that adds a unique flavour to the shrub. If you can’t get hold of native thyme, you can use common thyme.
The two-step process includes making an oleo saccharum first then turning the mixture of citrus oil and sugar into a shrub.
The Tangelo and Native Thyme shrub can be used in cocktails or in non-alcoholic drinks by adding soda water and ice cubes.
Tangelo and Native Thyme Shrub Recipe
Original recipe created by Cocktails & Bars
- 4 medium sized tangelos
- 6 native thyme sprigs
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 400ml (approx) apple cider vinegar (see *note below)
Step 1 – Make Tangelo Oleo Saccharum
- Using a citrus peeler, peel the tangelos and carefully remove the white pith from the peel. Reserve the peeled fruit in the fridge.
- De-stem the native thyme, reserving the leaves and discarding the stems.
- In a non-reactive bowl, muddle the tangelo peel with native thyme leaves and caster sugar. Press hard on the zest to extract as much of the oils as possible. Cover with cling wrap and leave overnight. The mixture will turn to liquid as the sugar reacts with the oil in the tangelo peel.
Step 2 – Make Tangelo and Native Thyme Shrub
- The next day, juice the peeled tangelos and fine strain to remove the pulp and any seeds.
- Add the strained juice to the tangelo oleo and mix until well combined.
- Remove the peel and set aside. It can be dehydrated, turned into powder and used as garnish.
- Measure the liquid then transfer it to a glass jar with a lid. (*Note: 4 tangelos yielded 400ml of juice)
- Add an equal amount of apple cider vinegar and mix well.
- Seal the jar and store in the fridge for a minimum of three days for the favours to mellow.
- Give the shrub a gentle stir every day, tasting as you go until the flavour is to your liking.
- The shrub can be used after 3 days but the flavours will meld better if left longer, at minimum one week.
The shrub can keep indefinitely but it’s at its best when used within a year.