• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Chris Amirault

Shrubs

55 posts in this topic

I want to learn about shrubs. I am drinking a lovely beverage made from the following:

2 oz Appleton V/X

1 oz pineapple shrub*

1 oz lime

Shake; strain over fresh rocks in a highball glass while adding a bit (2 oz?) of soda.

It's tart, refreshing, and I want to make many, many more of them.

The pineapple shrub consists of a combination of piloncillo and banana vinegar from Rancho Gordo, some crushed pineapple and pineapple juice, and the leftovers from a session making noodles from a pineapple core. I had to adjust it so I don't have an exact recipe yet, but this is a very promising addition to the bar: tart, complex because of the very ripe pineapple, vinegar, and piloncillo, and with a splash of this and a bit of bubbles, a very easy item to use.

Makes me realize that there's a world of interesting shrubbery (insert Monty Python joke here) I need to learn. Where to start?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tartness of raspberry makes it an excellent candidate for shrubbing.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest you peruse some old New England cookbooks; most will have recipes for shrubs. Unfortunately, I am moving and all my books are packed, or I'd cull some for you. But basically, you can make a shrub by covering fruit with vinegar, letting it sit for a bit, straining it and mixing it with an equal part sugar, boiled down a bit. Or do something like this. Shrubs were traditional hot weather drinks on farms, believed to be real thirst-quenchers. I do love the sweet-sour taste in a drink.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found a lot of useful recipes in old cocktail books that have a section devoted to temperance drinks, i.e. (not pre-) Prohibition-era beverages. How To Mix Drinks has a few, in the portion of the book written by Christian Schultz, although most are just preserved syrup without vinegar. None of the Savoy shrubs have vinegar. American Frugal Housewife (1833) has a raspberry shrub recipe with raspberries, vinegar and sugar.

The vinegar, to me, is what makes a shrub special, and it makes sense that before widespread produce distribution vinegar was often the primary acidifier in a drink, alcoholic or not. I have had success with an a la minute version using raspberry gum syrup (or simple with several fresh raspberries), raspberry vinegar and a tablespoon of sour cherry preserves. Great with soda water alone or with gin added.


Small Hand Foods

classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In days of yore, a shrub was also an appetizer on a country club and restaurant menus - usually orange juice with a scoop of lime sherbet.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In days of yore, a shrub was also an appetizer on a country club and restaurant menus - usually orange juice with a scoop of lime sherbet.

I remember my mother ordered those at Stauffer's

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you do with the raspberry shrub once you've got it on hand?

I mixed it with cachaca and a touch of lime (mine was still a little sweet). The little bottle was soon gone.

Also nice is plain seltzer.


Edited by EvergreenDan (log)

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you do with the raspberry shrub once you've got it on hand?

I mixed it with cachaca and a touch of lime (mine was still a little sweet). The little bottle was soon gone.

Also nice is plain seltzer.

That sounds good, I imagine it also pairs just fine with gin. I had a drink at The Violet Hour that was (I believe) a riff on a Hemingway Daiquiri but with Pisco & raspberry shrub.

La Chunga

2 oz Pisco Italia

1 oz Grapefruit

.75 oz Lime

.5+ oz Cocchi Americano

.25+ oz Raspberry Shrub

13 drops Bittercube Bolivar Bitters

Shake/Strain/Serve up


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been working more with that pineapple shrub and have started thinking about a slightly less pricey version. I also thought I'd try to give it a cleaner, sharper pineapple taste, and thus eliminated the piloncillo/brown sugar. I just vacuum-sealed this package:

350 g pineapple

350 g white cane sugar

450 g coconut vinegar

Overnight at 85C. Will test tomorrow when chilled.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been working more with that pineapple shrub and have started thinking about a slightly less pricey version. I also thought I'd try to give it a cleaner, sharper pineapple taste, and thus eliminated the piloncillo/brown sugar. I just vacuum-sealed this package:

350 g pineapple

350 g white cane sugar

450 g coconut vinegar

Overnight at 85C. Will test tomorrow when chilled.

I'm going to make this concoction this weekend and just follow whatever you do. I'm amped to try this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're doing a whole new punch menu for spring/summer at Oyster House. In addition to our adaptation of Mother's Ruin punch as the "house" punch each bartender was asked to create a new punch recipe using different spirits as the base. The "9th Street Punch", so named because there are so many Mexican restaurants in/around the Italian Market in Philly, was created by Jordan Stalsworth, my esteemed colleague behind the stick at Oyster House. It's a tequila based punch that contains a house made orange shrub we're making from orange zest and flesh, a small dose of sugar and champagne vinegar. A measured dilution of water, add Hornitos anejo tequila and a topper of ginger ale, garnish with a thin lime wheel and that's about it. Simple and refreshing. Shrub is a wonderful thing. Looking forward to creating some new ones as the season allows for more diverse produce offerings to do so.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Katie -- How would the 9th Street Punch be with ginger beer rather than ale? In my mind, the spicy heat of ginger beer would be perfect, although it would raise the cost of the drink, I suppose.

Switching gears, there seems to be a trend growing with shrubs. In the last week or so, two new shrubs have been added by other users to Kindred Cocktail's ingredient database. I have experimented with vinegar as an individual ingredient, yet I haven't seen others write about this. I have yet to play with citric acid or acid phosphate, both of which seem interesting.


Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So a shrub is technically just fruit, sugar, and vinegar? Can it be made with anything or do certain fruits work best with it? From what I read citrus or tart fruits seem to do the best job. Is the fruit put whole into the drink or muddled?

edit:

I just read that say a ginger shrub, is a "sweet and sour mixture of fresh ginger, cider vinegar and sugar that is strained and cooked briefly". Does this mean that a shrub is supposed to be cooked or does it matter, and is it whole fruit or syrups?

Thanks.


Edited by ForSix (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan:

We make our own ginger beer in house so the cost issue isn't a big one. I'd be afraid the ginger beer would be too spicy and start duking it out in the glass with the orange flavors. The little tang of vinegar in the background is subtle so wouldn't want to mask that either.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a shrub in the fridge made from local chokecherries, sugar and red wine vinegar. I haven't done anything with it besides something I based on the Oaxacan Ice Water. I subbed the shrub for the lemon juice and agave nectar and Bittermens Burlesque for the grapefruit bitters. I enjoyed it but I was already a fan of the drink I based it on. I plan to make a shrub with local wild blueberries this summer (or I could pull some from last summer out of the freezer if I get impatient I suppose) but I don't have any specific plans for that one either.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for reminding me I have a big bag of blackberries from last summer taking up far too much real estate in my freezer as well. Might have to shrub those up next time I have a moment...


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just strained this:

350 g pineapple

350 g white cane sugar

450 g coconut vinegar

Yeah, it sat an additional couple of weeks. It's bracing, a bit more tart that I might want. Just now, I muddled some of the leftover pineapple with 2:1 demerara and V/X Appleton: it's close, verrrrrry close....


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In days of yore, a shrub was also an appetizer on a country club and restaurant menus - usually orange juice with a scoop of lime sherbet.

I must have been about 7 when I first had this style "shrub" at the Williamsburg Inn breakfast buffet - fresh orange juice and lemon sherbet, with a sprig of mint. It was lovely.


"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to admit I'm pretty confused by the exact nature of shrubs.

Going through recipes, I see very little similarity between the recipes.

Some include vinegar, some do not.

I was also reading the Rancho Gordo site about making a traditional Mexican fruit vinegar, and thinking, isn't this a Shrub?

Pineapple Vinegar (Part 1)

It couldn't be easier. You cut up a pineapple into 1 inch rings, add water and a spoonful or so of piloncillo or brown sugar. and wait a week or so after leaving the brew in a somewhat warm spot. Daniel Hoyer in his book, Culinary Mexico, suggests speeding up the process by adding a cup of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. I'm only on Day Two but already I can tell this is going to be a regular thing around my house.

Pineapple Vinegar (Part 2)

I can only say that I think everyone should try this. I think you'll get a kick out of it and the liquid it produces is very handy!

I had a very mild vinegar after 7 days. I strained the liquid into bottles and then refilled the glass barrel with water and left it to try again. Using the apple cider method, there is no apple flavor at all. I also did a batch without the cider and it smells good but still hasn't turned to vinegar. That's allright as I have plenty to use in the meantime.

Dilute, home made, fruit flavored vinegar?

I am also wondering if the shrub recipes without vinegar are assumed to be left to ferment, and, well, that thought's opposite, that the recipes which use vinegar are taking shortcuts.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is interesting. I thought that the idea was to preserve the fresh fruit juice with sugar and vinegar for unrefrigerated storage over the long winters. Yet above the fruit itself becomes the vinegar, at least in this case.

Some random person on colonial shrubs

And how this relates to Creole Shrubb, I don't understand. I know that there are other brands of Shrubb (rum/bitter orange type) from the Caribbean.


Edited by EvergreenDan (log)

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a pretty large collection of old cookbooks from the 1800s and early 1900s and I'm having a hard time figuring out what exactly makes a shrub. Currently it seems that we all use the term to refer to sweetened fruit syrups with vinegar added. But according to old beverage manuals, it seems that only raspberry shrub had vinegar added. The rest seem to be just fruit and sugar syrups with no added water. Here is a recipe from Miss Leslie's Complete Cookery, 1853:

Currant Shrub

Your currants must be quite ripe. Pick them from the stalks, and squeeze them through a linen bag. To each quart of juice allow a pound of loaf-sugar. Put the sugar and juice into a preserving kettle, and let it melt before it goes on the fire. Boil it ten minutes, skimming it well. When cold, add a jill of the best white brandy to each quart of the juice. Bottle it, and set it away for use; sealing the corks. It improves by keeping. Raspberry shrub may be made in this manner; also strawberry.

Although every other old recipe I've seen for raspberry shrub calls for vinegar. My question is, if there is no vinegar added, what makes it a shrub rather than just a fruit syrup? Boiled and in sealed bottles I can't see how it would turn to vinegar. Does anyone have any other historical recipes for vinegar shrub? Or any other insight?

Thanks!

Jen


Small Hand Foods

classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought it was interesting that Christian Schultz calls for fermentation in the manufacture of his Raspberry Syrup!

422. Raspberry Syrup

2 pints of filtered raspberry juice

4 1/2lbs of sugar

Select the fruit, either white or red. Having picked them over, mash them in a pan, which put in a warm place until fermentation has commenced. Let it stand for about three days. All mucilaginous fruits require this, or else they would jelly when bottled. Now filter the juice through a close flannel bag, or blotting-paper, and add sugar in the proportion mentioned above; this had better be powdered. Place the syrup on the fire, and as it heats skim it carefully, but don't let it boil; or you may mix in a glass vessel or earthenware jar, and place in a pan of water on the fire. This is a very clean way, and prevents the sides crusting and burning. When dissolved to the 'little pearl' (see No. 12) take it off; strain through a cloth; bottle when cold; cover with tissue-paper dipped in brandy and tie down with a bladder.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought it was interesting that Christian Schultz calls for fermentation in the manufacture of his Raspberry Syrup!

Raspberry Syrup

The fermentation breaks down the pectin and this old method makes for a truly amazing syrup. I still make it this way regularly...


Evo-lution - Consultancy, Training and Events

Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters - Bitters

The Jerry Thomas Project - Tipplings and musings

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought it was interesting that Christian Schultz calls for fermentation in the manufacture of his Raspberry Syrup!

Raspberry Syrup

The fermentation breaks down the pectin and this old method makes for a truly amazing syrup. I still make it this way regularly...

That sounds amazing.

It's interesting, though, that Schultz calls for fermenting all mucilaginous fruit like this before turning them into syrups. What, then, defines a shrub? Because of the four shrub recipes he lists, only the raspberry has vinegar added. Assuming we ferment strawberries then turn them into syrup, would that not then make a shrub? And why is currant shrub (Schultz' recipe is similar to Miss Leslie's) a shrub and not a syrup? I briefly thought it was because there was no water added, but his pineapple syrup calls for juice and sugar, no water, and not fermented, just like the currant shrub. And the currant syrup calls for fermentation. I'm so confused.


Small Hand Foods

classic ingredients for pre-prohibition era cocktails

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.