Happy St. Paddy’s Day Zesters!
Kristi here! I am reallly excited about a new journey I am about to being, it shall be titled: Adventures in Shrubery. Other potential names were Shrub-iliciousness, Shrubtastical, and Shrubercalifradulistic. Anyways haha, it all began at Sidecar and the love affair I have developed with their specialty cocktails. Inspired by their rosemary shrub, thinking it was just a sprig of rosemary maybe coated in something, I decided to do some research. I came to find that drink shurbs have nothing to do with bushes. I found an article about the re-emerging trend, which led me to the master of Shrubs, Michael Dietsch a self-proclaimed hobbyist mixer and writer from Brooklyn. After checking out his weblog A Dash of Bitters, I saw an ad for his book Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink For Modern Times. I have since purchased it and am going to try to make it through all 48 of his recipes, as well as create some of my own. I doubt all of these will make it on the blog, but I am super stoked to experiment!
In Dietsch’s book I found a definition quoted from an entry in the Ark of Taste: “Shrub is a colonial-day drink whose name is derived from the Arabic word sharah, to drink. It is a concentrated syrup made from fruit, vinegar, and sugar that is traditionally mixed with water to create a refreshing drink that is simultaneously tart and sweet. In the nineteenth-century, the drink was often spiked with brandy or rum.”
Whew! There are so many variations and depending on what you choose to shrub it may take up to a week for the flavor to balance. Since I was much too excited to wait a week, and with it being St. Paddy’s, I chose to make a cucumber shrub!
Adventures in Shrubery: The Cucumber Shrub
Ingredients: (Based on Michael Dietsch’s Recipe)
– 1/2 cup of cucumber juice (so 2 large cucumbers or 6 small ones)
– 1/2 cup white vinegar
– 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
Step 1: Acquire any desired cucumber skin for garnish and place your cucumbers in a small blender to be pureed.
Step 2: Press the puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl.
Step 3: Add cucumber juice, both vinegars, sugar, and salt into a mason jar.
Step 4: Once all of your ingredients are all combined, shake well and refrigerate.
Step 5: Make a yummy drink!!
The Stringy Serpent
– 1 oz Cucumber Shrub
– 1.5 oz Gin
– Garnish from 1 Cucumber
St. Paddy’s Zest Style, sipping on a Stringy Serpent with some Marcona Almonds…that’s whats up!!
Photos Credit to: Jessica Helton