Non-Alcoholic Vanilla Mango Shrubs – it’s like a fizzy mango soda, thanks to the Apple cider Vinegar. Fruity, summery & delicious to sip on!
It seems like the year just began, but we’re already closer to fall now – in about 5-6 weeks, it’ll be pumpkin spice everything, although I’ve never quite come around on the trend. This year might change that – change is the one constant in this world, and as an adult, I have come to love foods that I despised as a child. But talk of pumpkin spice can wait, there’ll be plenty of time to debate on the role of cinnamon and nutmeg in a latte. Today we talk of mangoes.
I was at the grocery store yesterday and there was such a mad frenzy around the tall stacks of mango cartons, perched precariously on top of one another, just waiting for one foolish move to send it all crashing down. It was made worse by the fact that the mangoes were placed right by the entrance, just a few steps into the automatic doors, and everyone walking in made a beeline straight to the crowd, realizing that if they don’t go and grab their share now, all the good ones will be taken by the throng already swarming the stacks with a single purpose.
Lucky for me, my husband is the fruit-picker in the house. We divide and conquer when we go on our weekly grocery runs – I get the vegetables, he is in-charge of the fruits. So I left him at the doors to deal with the crowd while I walked away safely, with a smug grin on my face and when I turned around to see if he was ok, he had the saddest, most worried look about him.
But he did eventually manage to untangle himself from the mob (when I was standing in line at the billing counter, after having picked up both our shares of the grocery list) with a large bag of the choicest mangoes, and walked up to me looking like like a Viking who’s come home after months of pillaging and conquering!
So this was an exceptionally special batch of mangoes and I knew that my warrior deserved to reap his rewards – so I set about working on the ‘fruits’ of his labor. We cut open a few as soon as we got home, well not immediately, I first made sure they were thoroughly chilled. I absolutely love eating super-chilled fruits, it’s one of my milder quirks. Somehow, I think it enhances their flavor, but whether it really does, or if it’s just a figment of my wild imagination, I’ll never really know.
Then I made a batch of these Mango Coconut Jelly – it’s vegan, gluten-free and it’s not really summer without it. But there were still a few more left and it was now time to experiment with something new.
I had made these Rose Strawberry Shrubs a few weeks ago and I had just finished off the last of the syrup. Mango seemed like the next perfect flavor to fuse with Apple cider vinegar, but I knew that just as the rose essence livened up the flavor of the strawberries, the mangoes too needed just a little something extra.
I am crazy about Vanilla Custard topped with fresh mangoes, so it seemed like the natural path for me to go (which gets me thinking, why didn’t I just make Vanilla custard instead for the last few mangoes? Hmm….). Vanilla Mango Shrubs – I liked the sound of that, and yes, the drink was pretty awesome too!
It was like mango soda, really, the acid adding the fizz, but with light whiff of a little vanilla. It was the perfect ode to the valiance these mangoes inspired.
Before the mango season is out, which is just a few more pitiful weeks, make sure you get your fill of this tropical madness, and a healthy dose of these Vanilla Mango Shrubs. Because once the cold winds start blowing our way, it won’t be long before you start regretting all the mango goodness you missed out on!
Although I daresay that the onslaught of apple picking, pie-crust rolling, season’s colors changing, pumpkin carving madness might abate the yearning just a little bit!