The term “shrub” refers to two different things: a tart, fruity liquid you can sip straight up (a shrub starter), and a drink or cocktail made with it. Confused? Just call it tasty. All you need:
Purée fruit, sugar, and vinegar in a blender. Add bonus ingredient (if using) and chill 4 hours or up to 2 days to blend flavors. Strain and serve with slightly less than an equal amount of liquor for cocktails or with an equal amount of club soda for mocktails. Or try these variations:
In a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice, combine 2 ounces Earl Grey-Grapefruit Shrub (recipe on facing page) and 1½ ounces vodka. Shake until very cold. Strain into martini glass or an ice-filled old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge. Makes 1 (⅔-cup) cocktail.
CANTALOUPE DAIQUIRI SHRUB
In a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice, combine 2 ounces Cantaloupe Shrub (recipe on facing page), 1½ ounces white rum, and ¾ ounce fresh lime juice. Shake until very cold. Strain into an ice-filled wine glass or water goblet. Garnish with slices of cantaloupe and lime. Makes 1 (⅔-cup) cocktail.
In a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice, combine 2 ounces Blueberry Shrub (recipe on facing page), and 1½ ounces bourbon. Shake until very cold. Strain into an ice-filled pint glass. Top with 3 ounces ginger beer. Garnish with additional blueberries or a lime wedge. Makes 1 (1-cup) cocktail.