Nole and I introduced our first Shrubs last year, those drinks built around flavored vinegar syrups: a peach and bourbon shrub and then a peach and berry summer shrub. Well, it’s Shrub time again! Shrubs are super-tart and full of super-crisp fruit flavors, perfect for summer. Today’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Shrub cocktail recipe, courtesy of Portland’s RaciÃ³n restaurant viaÂ ImbibeÂ magazine, is my favorite Shrub so far.Â â€“ Andrew
Illustration byÂ Shauna LynnÂ for Oh So Beautiful Paper
1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Strawberry-Rhubarb Shrub Syrup
2 Dashes Orange Bitters
2 Dashes Aromatic Bitters
To make the shrub syrup: combine one cup of Champagne vinegar, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, one cup of diced rhubarb and one cup of diced strawberries in a jar. (The original recipe calls just for rhubarb, but we had so many strawberries leftover…) Shake hard to combine and refrigerate for three days. Then strain through a sieve or cheesecloth into a new jar. This should keep in the refrigerator for at least a couple of weeks.
To make the Shrub: combine the whiskey, vermouth, and syrup with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with the bitters. Enjoy!
You can make a shrub syrup much faster, by heating the fruit and vinegar until the vinegar is infused with flavor. But the result can often taste a bit like jam, cooked and thick. The alternative is to let the vinegar sit for days â€“ the downside being, of course, that you have to wait, which neither of us are too good at. But the upside is a light shrub with crystal-clear, earthy flavors of tart rhubarb and sweet strawberries. Just really deliciousÂ (and would probably go well with some sparkling water to make a shrub soda).
The resulting drink opens with a burst of sweet, tart, fruity shrub, but has a finish that is mellowed out the by the sweet vermouth and rye whiskey. Perfect for unwinding on a sumer night after work.
If you do make one at home, you can useÂ #osbphappyhour to share photos of these (or your own creations) on Instagram.
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper