Sour Cherry Chili ShrubAs the holiday season approaches, it’s time to get out your decorations and recipe book! While the holiday recipes passed down in your family may not have freeze-dried fruits on the ingredient list, we highly suggest adding it. They’re a simple and nutritious way to enjoy a restaurant-quality beverage and experience no matter where you are. Great for adding a pop of color and natural flavor to your beverages, they also make for a perfect garnish.

We voted on our favorite holiday beverage recipe using our high-quality freeze-dried ingredients, and we’re happy to share it with you. Our Sour Cherry Chili Shrub can be made with or without alcohol, to suit your tastes. The freeze-dried sour cherries bring a beautiful and wintery red hue to this refreshing shrub – which is a vinegared syrup that is most commonly used in beverages.

Sour Cherry Chili Shrub:

½ cup Mercer freeze-dried sour cherries, plus additional for garnish
4 ounces ginger beer
8 ounces white wine vinegar
7 ounces sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
Crushed ice
2 ounces Vodka or other preferred spirit, optional

To make the shrub in advance: Add the freeze-dried cherries to a sterilized jar. Heat the vinegar in a saucepan to a simmer, then pour into the jar with the cherries. Let cool completely and store in a cool dark place for at least 24 hours.

Mix the cherry-vinegar mixture with sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. The shrub can be kept in the fridge for 6-8 weeks.

To serve: Combine ginger beer, optional spirit, 1 ounce of sour cherry shrub (or more) and chili powder in a glass and add ice. Garnish with extra freeze-dried cherries. Enjoy!