Happy Winter Holidays!!!

Wow, I can’t believe that it’s nearly the end of the year.  I’ve had the amazing good fortune to land myself in a job I’m loving, with seriously rad people around me, and the opportunity to meet more amazing people all the time.  To everyone I’ve met this month at the Farmer’s Markets and shows, thank you for being part of this amazing journey.  I hope everyone you bought shrub for loves it, that all of your parties were an amazing success, and that you all get a chance to relax at some point this season.

Shrub Mocktail 101, or How do I use these if I don’t drink alcohol?

Not everyone in the world drinks.  Sometimes it’s for heath, religious, personal, or age restricted reasons.  And sometimes it’s just that you don’t feel like having a stiff one.  The great news is shrubs make a wonderful non-alcoholic beverage too.

You can be simple with them.  Put some ice in an 8 ounce glass.  Add 4-5 ounces of unflavored soda/seltzer water.  Pour 1ish ounce (to taste) of the shrub of your choosing into the glass and give a gentle stir.  Fruity, fizzy, sweet and tart.  Yummmmmm.

You can up your mocktail game though with some simple additions.  If a tiny amount (less that 1% ABV in the finished drink) of alcohol is permissible, you can add a few dashes of bitters to the mix for even more complex flavors.  We love the line of bitters Scrappy’s puts out.  Try their Lavender bitters with our Vanilla Pear shrub.  Or the Orange bitter with the Peach Brown Sugar shrub.  Chocolate bitters plus Blackberry Balsamic?  Yes please!  You just need 3-5 dashes of a bitter, which is 1/4-1/3 a teaspoon, to flavor your drink.

Another option is to replace some or all of the soda/seltzer water with sparkling juices or Dry sodas.  Sparkling lemonade, ginger beer and Peach Brown Sugar is a favorite around here.  Or the Juniper Berry with the Quince Bay Laurel and a touch of bitter lemon.  Heck, go crazy and add some bitters to your juice and soda and shrub concoction.  Serve them in your bar wear with garnishes, and you’ll feel extra fancy.

Come up with something really yummy?  Leave it in the comments!

Turkey and Finals and Farmers oh my!

I feel like I’ve been spun around in a whirly gig, and am just now getting a chance to tell you all about it.  Thanksgiving happened, and it was my first turkey feast away from family.  My mother decided to fly home for the holiday and I wasn’t able to go along, which was strange for me.  I almost didn’t realize it was Thanksgiving.  Luckily, I ended up at a friend’s place where we ate heritage bird, sunchokes, 2 kinds of potato, and a whole mess of pie.

And then I had to start cramming for finals.  And somewhere in there I was invited to two local Farmer’s Markets.  And I looked around and realized it had been ages since we chatted.  To make it up to you, I’m giving you the recipe for the cocktail we developed for Thanksgiving and that ended up as the signature beverage for the night.  I may have consumed several.

You can make this cocktail two ways, both are lovely.

The Winter Queen v1:
1 ounce Vanilla Pear shrub
2 Ounces floral gin, such as Hendricks or Geranium (or vodka)
5 dashes Lavender Bitters, such as Bar Keep’s Lavender Spice bitters
Ice
Lemon peel curl

Combine all ingredients in a pint glass. Add ice and stir for 15-20 seconds until everything is well mixed and about an ounce of ice water has been diluted into the cocktail. Strain into a clean glass. Add a curl of lemon peel.

The Winter Queen v2
1 ounce Vanilla Pear shrub
1.5 Ounces floral gin, such as Hendricks or Geranium (or vodka)
.5 Ounces Violet Liqueur such as The Bitter Truth’s Violet Liqueur
5 dashes Lavender Bitters, such as Bar Keep’s Lavender Spice bitters
Ice
Lemon peel curl

Combine all ingredients in a pint glass. Add ice and stir for 15-20 seconds until everything is well mixed and about an ounce of ice water has been diluted into the cocktail. Strain into a clean glass. Add a curl of lemon peel.