August is upon us, a sleepy month in DC. Congress goes on recess, the college kids go home, most everyone is off on vacation, and everyone here is generally wilted by the heat. So we thought we’d spend the month playing around with shrubs, those sweetened, flavored vinegars that were first popular before DC was DC, back in the 1700s. They take some time to make, which is ok, because there’s lots of time in August, and they pack a punch of flavor. We’re starting with – what else, because it’s August, after all – a Tiki spin on a shrub: a Lemon-Mint Tiki Shrub. –Andrew
Lemon-Mint Tiki Shrub
2 oz Jamaican Rum
3/4 oz Lemon-Mint Shrub
3/4 oz Guava Nectar
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime Juice
Combine everything in a shaker filled two-thirds with crushed ice. Shake briefly to incorporate the ingredients, then pour everything, ice and all, into a tumbler or Tiki mug. Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy!
Tart, with citrus and mint and a vinegary acidity up front, then a long fruity finish, showing off the sweet, earthy guava. Wonderfully layered, as Tiki should be, throwing lots of flavors at you in sequence.
We’ll be talking about making our own shrubs later this month, but for this one we wanted to use a shrub from one of our favorite cocktail-ingredient companies, Element Shrub. Not only is Element Shrub local to the DC area, and not only do they make beautifully fresh and clear shrubs, but they’re also very good people. Shrubs can be great to make fresh but, if you’re in a hurry, it’s getting easier to find a wide range of quality shrubs for sale.
Guava nectar is a fun ingredient to use in Tiki drinks and cocktails in general. It’s made from a sweetened guava puree and we pick it up from our local Hispanic grocer. It adds a thick, rich, and distinctly tropical fruitiness to your drinks.
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Glassware by Liquorary
Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper