Strawberry Shrub Cocktail
We’re doing something a bit different today. Have you guys heard of a shrub syrup? Don’t worry, it’s not a syrup made out of garden shrubs. That sounds horrible.
I’ve officially ruined it for you, haven’t I?
I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the name, but I am a new fan of this ingredient. Also–I made a cocktail! That almost never happens. Seriously, check the recipe archive.
I’ve waxed poetic about my wimpiness (according to the red squiggly line showing up on my computer screen, wimpiness isn’t a word) when it comes to cocktails. Or practically any drink that involves hard alcohol.
I can handle a girly margarita, mojito, and am always down for a glass of wine or beer, but I can’t handle much more than that.
Actually, that’s not true. I tried a draft ginger beer Moscow mule (sans trendy copper mug = sad face) this past weekend, and I think it is my official cocktail. Do you guys have a favorite go-to cocktail? I wanna hear about it.
[Strawberries + Sugar = Day 1, right after combining!]
Anyway, so you can imagine my excitement when I tried a cocktail made with shrub syrup a few weeks ago, and I actually enjoyed it! Since I had no idea what a shrub syrup was until I tried one, I did a little research and learned more about them.
Shrub syrups originated hundreds of years ago, when the only method to prevent the spoiling of fresh fruit was to mix it with lots of sugar and store it in old crocks. After some time, the liquid released from the fruit and sugar mixture would begin to ferment and turn into a vinegar.
A fruit-y vinegar, if you will.
[Strawberries + Sugar = 12 + hours later!]
Nowadays, the most common method of making a shrub is to make an old-fashioned simple syrup by mixing fruit (practically any fruit or berry will work!) in equal parts sugar, and allowing this mixture to sit for a minimum of 8 hours or up to two days. Instead of allowing this mixture to ferment, you simply add in equal parts vinegar.
Red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar are great options, traditional white vinegar will also work (but is less ideal). You can even experiment with amounts of balsamic!
Using a pound of strawberries, I was able to yield roughly two cups of simple syrup. Note: This recipe yields about a quart of shrub syrup total–it can last in the fridge for up to a month, but feel free to halve or quarter the recipe!
The next step is to simply mix a small amount of shrub syrup with the hard alcohol of your choice (I used dry gin, but you could also try it with brandy, rum, or even vermouth and sherry), pour it over ice, and top this off with seltzer water.
As you can imagine, the shrub syrup is very vinegar-y and pungent. You don’t want to drink this stuff straight up, but it will mellow a bit with time. If you’re not into briny or vinegar-y things, I’m going to be completely honest…a shrub cocktail will most likely not be your thing. It is definitely different, and reminds me a little bit of kombucha.
But also very refreshing! And a fantastic way to preserve a little piece of summer! Now go make a cocktail. You deserve it.
Strawberry Shrub Syrup:
Strawberry Shrub Cocktail (per drink):
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 0g