Cocktails Using Fruit Shrubs

mango-chili shrub cocktail

The Hellcat Years made with mango-chili shrub from 10th Kitchen

My yard is overflowing with fruit …so this summer is going to be shrub time! A shrub is a great way to preserve fruit. It’s kind of like a syrup made with vinegar, which you can use in cocktails or sparkling water (among other uses). Before I get to making my own shrubs and sharing the recipes, here are some cocktails made with different kind of shrubs. See what a shrub can do!

Blackberry-Ginger Shrub Old Fashioned ~ Dressing up an old fashioned with a little blackberry and ginger sounds perfect for warm summer nights.

Strawberry Shrub Collins ~ Gin and strawberries are best friends. So it stands to reason that a collins made with a strawberry shrub is going to be great.

Apple Shrub Cocktail ~ Not to brag, but I am drowning in apples. I just might need to shrub them up for this applejack and nocino cocktail.

Tangy Cranberry-Black Pepper Shrub Cocktail ~ Sparkling wine gets a kick out of cranberries and black pepper. This would be great for Thanksgiving (bookmarked!).

The Hellcat Years ~ Mango-Chili Shrub sounds amazing. Pairing it with cachaca sounds genius.

Shiso Cocktails

Shiso cocktail

Shiso Unusual from Liquor.com

Shiso is one of my favorite herbs to grow, and this year my garden is overflowing with it. Also known as perilla leaves, their flavor is similar to a basil-mint combination … very fresh and light. I grew the purple variety this year, but there’s also a green one. Both taste great in cocktails. Here are a few to try!

Shiso Mojito ~ An herb that tastes like a cross between basil and mint? Mojito is the first thing that comes to mind!

Spicy Shiso Smash ~ Shiso muddled with spicy Thai red chile and slices of cucumber are the perfect complement to rum and lime in this summer cocktail.

Shiso Unusual ~ This play on the Mint Julep is made with rye and cognac with two kinds of bitters for a deep and (yes) unusual drink.

Shiso-Jito Recipe ~ Candied ginger and citrus vodka are a fun way to highlight shiso’s fresh flavor.

Shiso Martinis ~ Infusing vodka with shiso leaves gives you a whole new, exciting spirit to work with.

Arugula Cocktails

greenvesper-epicurious

Green Vesper from Epicurious

The arugula in my garden is going NUTS. Naturally, this means it’s time for an arugula cocktail. Arugula seems like an unusual bar ingredient, but if you think about it the peppery, slightly bitter flavor is perfect for cocktails. Here are a few to try:

Green Goddess ~ Vodka, green tea, cucumber, jalapeƱo and arugula? This drink has my attention.

Arugula Gimlet ~ Give the classic gimlet a spicy kick with some greens.

Arugula & Watermelon ~ Arugula and watermelon are a winning combination, with some gin to get the party started.

The Green Vesper ~ Arugula simple syrup and a pinch of salt make for a savory and surprising cocktail.

Arugula Pineapple Daiquiri ~ A refreshing blended drink for summer sipping.

DIY Falernum

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You may not have heard of falernum, but if you love Tiki cocktails then you probably love falernum. It’s a combination of lime and spices, either as a rum liqueur or a syrup. Give it a try! This recipe brightens the sour notes of citrus and adds a hint of spice.

DIY Falernum
1/3 cup raw almonds (sliced)
30 cloves
1/2 cup light rum
8 limes
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup water

Toast the almonds on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for about five minutes, until slightly darkened and fragrant. Let cool. Put almonds and cloves in a jar with the rum. Steep for two days. Zest limes and add zest to the jar. Steep for one day, then strain through cheesecloth. Juice four of the limes and strain juice into pot with water and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar is dissolved, about five minutes. Let cool. Combine with strained almond and clove infusion. Strain entire mixture through a coffee filter (optional). Let rest for 12 hours before use.

The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column.

What Bartenders Should Know About Tea

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Tea is one of the world’s most popular drinks. It’s also a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can (and should) be a part of every bartender’s arsenal, according to tea experts Robert Schinkel and Sarah Scarborough.

I talked to two tea experts who gave a Tea 101 education for bartenders, along with advice for how to incorporate tea into cocktails — at Tales of the Cocktail.