Monday, November 10, 2014

Shrubs: Not Just For Planting

Admittedly, I only first heard of shrubs a few months ago, even though they've been around for several centuries. Shrubs, or drinking vinegars, were common in colonial times, and have become popular again with modern mixologists and home drinkologists alike. The idea was enormously pleasing to me as well, as shrubs are a unique way to preserve and enhance the flavors of fresh fruit very easily at home.

homemade shrubs drinking vinegars
All assembled.

Using the "cold" method outlined here, I set out to create three different shrubs, steeping the fruits and flavorings in vinegar prior to straining and sweetening:

Shaken, not stirred.

1. Orange-Rosemary  Shrub made with champagne vinegar and sweetened with honey.
2. Cranberry-Ginger Shrub made with apple cider vinegar and sweetened with white sugar.
3. Apple-Spice Shrub made with apple cider vinegar and sweetened with light brown sugar.

The final results.

Once they were ready, I was able to move forward with the fun part - the drinks!

1. Tisane - just a teaspoon or two of the Orange-Rosemary Shrub made a tangy tisane. Additional honey would make this the perfect beverage to soothe a sore throat.

Not your usual cuppa.

2. Spritzer - a few spoonfuls of the Cranberry-Ginger Shrub topped off with lime seltzer made a refreshing and festive-looking spritzer.

Pretty in pink.

3. Highball - the warmth of the Apple-Spice Shrub was the perfect addition to the usual rye and ginger ale.

Bottom's up.

Shrubs have definitely added a kick to my drinking routine, all with very little effort from me. I'm already thinking about what kind to make next... Vanilla-Pear Shrub, anyone?

Notes: I'm a novice at this process, but a few quick web searches will provide you with information, instructions, and loads of fabulous shrub recipes. Shrubs can also be purchased online and at specialty food and drink stores. Experiment and enjoy!


1 comment:

  1. I'm heading over for the "pretty in pink " drink!... Shrubs, who knew...


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