Bugs and Shrubs

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Summertime sometimes means mosquitoes and making your own safe insect repellent can happen in about 60 seconds. We decided to make a night of it and throw in some shrubs .

If you are a visual person you can watch the quick tutorial. If you prefer to read a recipe, voila.

Track down a plastic, metal or glass 4 oz spray bottle, some distilled water, witch hazel and your essential oils. If your bottle size varies a bit adjust your essential oil use accordingly. Please note there are many essential oils that you can use in your insect repellent, but these are the few that I love.

  • 3 drops of lavender
  • 3 drops of lemongrass
  • 3 drops of eucalyptus
  • 3 drops of peppermint
  • 3 drops of thyme
  • 2 ml of witch hazel
  • distilled water to the rim

Add the ingredients in the order listed above, and twist your spritzer lid atop your bottle. You can generously apply this natural repellent to yourself and your offspring (if you have any). Keep the buggers away with something you can trust.

Other essential oils that are bug deterrents are Citronella and Purification. Purification is a blend of lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, myrtle, citronella and lavandin. if you are interested in adding these oils to your collection let me know or order here.

*now for the shrubs* We added a bit of vodka to our shrubs, but that is only because my friends own the best distillery in Missoula. Your shrub certainly doesn't require any booze, just mine does. I concocted two flavors, for the record, this was my very first time concocting.

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Since my yard is filled with mint and cherries, the first shrub was made from those two ingredients. I pitted the cherries and mashed them a bit and just floated some mint leaves in my kombucha. I let my kombucha brew a bit longer than normal so it was pretty vinegary, perfect for a shrub.

The second batch of shrub was a mixture of crushed blueberries, minced ginger and squashed peaches, apple cider vinegar and a splash of white vinegar. My great grandma always said that apple cider vinegar is for cooking and white vinegar is for cleaning, so I don't think she would approve of my recipe. I say, you just need to get in there and experiment.

I added honey to both shrubs to sweeten them up, and shook the crud out of them in glass mason jars. Leftover shrub can be kept for a couple of months in the fridge and it is best to let them set for at least 24 hours before you serve them, for the optimum flavor.

When we were ready to pour I filled small glass jars with ice and a shot of vodka. I strained the shrub right into the glass, an ounce or two, and filled the rest of the jar with bubbly water. I topped each of them with a cherry and a mint leaf.

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Refreshing!

 

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