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.

Plum Tarragon Fizz

Plum Gin Cocktail

My backyard is full of tasty plums! Inspired by the Peach Lemonade Punch, I created a Plum Fizz that also used the tarragon and Meyer lemons from the garden (as well as the Nolet’s I received).

You could easily use another basil and/or lime instead, and it would pair well with the plum and gin. It’s refreshing and summery …

Plum Tarragon Fizz
1 ripe plum, pitted and sliced (reserve 2-3 slices)
3 large sprigs of tarragon (reserve 1 sprig)
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 ounce simple syrup
Seltzer
2 Meyer lemon slices

Muddle the sliced plum and tarragon in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, gin and simple syrup then shake. Strain into a glass filled with ice cubes and reserved plum slices. Top off with seltzer and garnish with lemon and tarragon sprigs.

Summer Party Punch: Peach Lemonade Punch

Peach Lemonade Gin Punch for SummerNolet’s is one of my favorite gins. The lovely floral notes go perfectly with summer fruit, so I took them up on their offer to send me a bottle so I could create my own summer punch. As inspiration, they gave me this peachy recipe. Sounds like it would be great for a big barbecue.

I’m thinking my recipe will use plums from my backyard, but in the mean time here’s another stonefruit-and-gin combo to try!

Peach Lemonade Punch

750 ml Gin
2.25 L Lemonade
375 ml Elderflower liqueur
2 bags frozen peaches or 3-4 peaches (pitted nad sliced)

Mix all ingredients in a pitcher or jar and stir. Serve over ice and garnish with a peach slice.

Cocktails Made With Peppers

shishito pepper margarita

Roasted Shishito Pepper Margarita from the Kitchn

The unifying theme of this post is that these cocktails are made with peppers. A little spice is nice in the summer. However! There is a sub-theme of “things I have a lot of in my garden.” Shiso, shishito peppers, Meyer lemons, cucumbers, Thai bird chiles — all good things I have a lot of. Time to make cocktails with them!

Spicy Shiso Smash ~ Shiso is a great herb! I’ve been looking for ways to use it more, and this Mojito-style cocktail with cucumber and Thai bird chiles sounds right up my alley.

Lemon Chile Marmalade Cocktail ~ Meyer lemons with a little bit of spice are a great complement to gin in this simple cocktail. (Well, making the marmalade takes a tiny bit of effort … but not much. And then you have marmalade!)

High Five ~ Watermelon and spice are buddies. Add in vodka, coconut water and lime … and it’s a refreshing summer drink with a kick.

Chili and Cucumber Margarita ~ Coming from a Dutch-Indonesian background means I always have sambal olek (chili paste) in the fridge. I also have tons of cucumbers, so this cocktail is happening!

Roasted Shishito Pepper Margarita ~ I’m new to shishito peppers. But I am obsessed with them! They are not spicy. They’re more like savory, thin-skinned bellpeppers. Can’t wait to try them in drinkable form.