We’re not talking landscaping here!
One valuable lesson I learned at Big Summer Potluck was that cocktails do not have to be sickeningly sweet. In fact, they really need some sourness to balance them out. (We’re all about balance here, right?) Brian Samuels demonstrated a Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub he made and we all had the opportunity to sample a Shrub Collins made from his concoction. Not only was it incredibly refreshing on a summer’s evening, but the apple cider vinegar helped calm my jumpy stomach, too. I love when alcohol is beneficial!
The shrub itself can’t get much easier. Take equal portions of cut up fruit and sugar, let them macerate a bit, add an equal portion of apple cider vinegar (or mix it up a bit with the lighter flavors–white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, etc.) and let the flavors mingle for about a week. Strain out the fruit and you’re good to go. Because of the vinegar, the shrub will last in your fridge for a while, but you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll probably need to make more soon. It’s okay. Use it as a chance to play around with the seasonal fruit and you can naturally change up your drink of choice to match the season.
Thank you, Brian, for this fantastic inspiration! I see many more shrubs in my future!
- 1 cup peeled and chopped peaches (I used an assortment of yellow and white)
- 1 cup organic sugar
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- Combine the peeled and chopped peaches with the sugar, cover, and let macerate for 24-36 hours, stirring periodically. (I let them sit in the fridge, but you can start with 1-2 hours out on the counter to accelerate the process.)
- Add the vinegars, stir, mash the fruit a bit, cover, and let sit at room temperature for a few hours to be sure the remaining sugar dissolves, stirring periodically.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, mash the fruit some more, re-cover and place in the refrigerator for about a week, stirring twice a day.
- Strain out the peach pieces over a clean jar, pushing down on them to release as much juice as possible. Discard the solids (or use as you see fit--they're basically pickled at this point).
- Cover tightly and mark the date, so you don't forget. The shrub should be able to be stored in the refrigerator safely for several months.
- 1½ ounces organic vodka
- 1 ounce peach shrub
- Q tonic tonic water to fill
- 1 rosemary sprig
- Fill a glass with ice and pour the vodka over the ice.
- Pour the shrub over that.
- Fill with tonic, stir, and garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.