As 2023 comes to a close, it feels like the year has flown by like a comet. Unfortunately, it hasn't been a peaceful one, with the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the shocking crimes committed by Hamas that have reverberated around the world. As we bid farewell to 2023, let's welcome 2024 with added optimism and hopes for a more peaceful world.
On a lighter note, shrubs have been gaining popularity as new (or perhaps rediscovered) elements in craft cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, and I was able to spend some time experimenting with them this summer, taking advantage of an abundance of fruits and berries. Additionally, I aimed to incorporate more of my organic, homemade apple cider vinegar, as many health lifestyle coaches still endorse it as a beneficial addition to one's daily diet.
Now, what exactly are shrubs? In short, they are vinegar-based beverages infused with fruit, ideal for soft drinks or cocktails. You can use various fruits, flowers, spices, and even vegetables (such as rhubarb) in different combinations to create unique shrubs. Pour a shrub over some sparkling water, add a slice of lemon and ice, and you've got yourself a perfect non-alcoholic drink bursting with vibrant color, and sweet and tart flavors.
You'll find my favorite blackberry and Asian pears shrub recipe below, but please remember that shrubs are easy to incorporate into your favorite cocktails, to enhance your Prosecco or Rosé, or craft a personalized Sangria, so play around with different components and liberate your inner mixologist. And of course, good company is recommended!
Without further ado, here are a couple of drinks we concocted, tasted, and wholeheartedly approved! Full disclosure - each sip is even better than the last.
BYE BYE, 2023!
Prosecco with blackberry or Asian pear shrub:
2 ounces of well chilled Prosecco
1 ounce of Shrub
Stir and serve!
WE HOPE 2024 WILL BE BETTER!
Aperol Shrub Cocktail
3 ounce Prosecco
2 ounces Aperol
1 ounce Blackberry Shrub
Splash of soda
Serve with a slice of orange or apple
WE WISH YOU A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON
Ice cube or 2
1.5 ounces of tequila or vodka
1.5 ounces of Asian Pear Shrub
Stir, do not shake
Garnish with lime and mint
BE HEALTHY! BE HAPPY! ENJOY LIFE!
Gin and Shrub
1-2 ice cubes
2 ounces of gin
2 ounces of Asian Pear shrub
3 ounces of Perrier or club soda
Garnish with persimmon
Serve with chocolate
Mix fresh or frozen fruits. We used frozen strawberry, cornelian cherry,blueberry, red currant and fresh orange and persimmon.
Mix 4 ounces of very chilled white wine with 2 ounces of Shrub. You could add a cube of ice. We used Blackberry Shrub, but Asian Pear Shrub would work well too, the final product will be a bit sweeter.
Put all fruits at the bottom of the wine glass and pour wine and shrub mixture over it. Enjoy!