Everything You Need to Make an Amazing Shrub Cocktail
What is a Shrub?
A shrub, at its core, is a vinegar-based syrup infused with fruits, sometimes herbs or spices, and sugar. It's an age-old method of preserving fruits, predating the invention of refrigeration. With its delightful tang and versatility, a shrub allows fruits to shine in a unique manner, long after their season has ended.
Such preservation techniques can be traced back to the 1500’s in England, where it then hopped the Pacific and became very popular in colonial America. Beyond its historical preservation purposes, the shrub has found renewed popularity in the realm of modern mixology. It’s a mainstay in our product line – our shrubs are crafted from high quality fruit, as much of it as possible locally sourced from our community on Orcas Island.
What is a Shrub Cocktail, and How Do I Make One?
A shrub cocktail combines sweetness, tang, and spirit. The vinegar-infused syrup from the shrub combines with spirits, mixers, or even plain sparkling water, resulting in a refreshing and layered drink. Tangy, sweet, and densely flavorful, shrubs offer a tasting journey distinct from your typical cocktail.
For those who love diverse flavors and take joy in uncovering unexpected combinations, the shrub cocktail is for you. Here’s a breakdown of what we love about shrub cocktails:
- Depth of Flavor: The acidity of the shrub's vinegar provides a unique depth to a cocktail; it amplifies the taste of other ingredients.
- Versatility: Shrub cocktails defy limitation. Whether you're partial to gin or whiskey, or prefer to mix with soda or lemonade, any liquor can be the basis of an amazing shrub drink.
- Health Perks: Vinegar has been linked to a range of health benefits, notably aiding digestion. As you savor your drink, you could also be nurturing your digestive health!
Want to Dive into Shrub Cocktails? Here are Three Recipes
- 4 tbsp gin
- 1.5-3 tbsp Rhubarb Shrub
- 6 tbsps tonic water
- 5 dashes Plum Bitters (optional)
- mint sprig (optional)
- 1.5 oz white rum,
- 1 oz Peach Shrub
- soda water,
- lime wedge
Method: Incorporate rum and shrub in a glass. Introduce ice, top off with soda, and infuse with lime. A tropical delight with a hint of spice.
Method: Mix bourbon, shrub, and bitters in a glass. Add ice and adorn with an apple segment.
There’s more where these came from! If you need more ideas, check out our recipes and cocktails page, where we have lots of shrub cocktail recipes and ideas!
How to Make A Shrub Mocktail
Shrubs are the perfect base for mocktails- they’re complex, tangy, tart, sweet and flavorful- and they feel fun & special without having any alcohol in them at all. You can alter any of the recipes listed above by simply removing the alcohol and serving as mocktails.
A shrub combined with soda water is essentially an instant mocktail, but feel free to get more creative with it- add a sprig of rosemary to your Lemon Lavender Shrub mocktail, or a splash of orange juice to your Peach Shrub mocktail. Send us your creations at @girlmeetsdirt on instagram- we love seeing the creative ways people use shrubs!
What to Pair with a Shrub Cocktail
Here are a few suggestions for how to pair your shrub cocktails with food:
- Cheese Boards: We may be biased, but we love cheese boards with pretty much everything. The acidic profile of the shrub contrasts the lushness of cheese. Dive deeper into the world of cheese boards and charcuterie boards by checking out our other blog posts.
- Grilled Food: The tangy notes of a shrub cocktail enhance the smokyness of grilled food. We also love sipping a refreshing, cooling shrub cocktail grillside. Our Chile Lime & Tomato Shrub and our Peach Shrub are especially refreshing with grilled food for the peak of summer grilling fun!
- For fall and winter shrub cocktails, try making a warming Shrub Hot Toddy with our delicious Ruby Spiced Apple Shrub. Just add hot water or hot herbal tea, bourbon, and bitters. This would pair beautifully with a fall meal- hearty, luscious braised meats and freshly baked breads would love to accompany this.
At Girl Meets Dirt, our passion intertwines both tradition and innovation in the culinary and beverage sectors. Whether you're on the hunt for a quintessential summer quencher or a snug winter beverage, shrubs offer boundless potential. Delve into the experience, cherishing every sip.