Sweet and tangy, this bourbon ginger shrub cocktail has a strong flavor profile that any vinegar fan will love!
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A couple weeks ago, Naomi picked up a bottle of ginger shrub from Tait Farm Foods in her local market. She brought it over so we could experiment with some cocktail creations.
Since bourbon is my favorite spirit, I immediately picked up the Bulleit and set out to mix it up with the ginger shrub.
What is a shrub?
It’s not just a bush that lines your patio. A shrub, in cocktail terms, is an infusion of fruit or spice into vinegar and sugar. Think of a shrub as a simple syrup, but with vinegar instead of water.
Shrubs are nothing new. They’ve been around for ages and were a popular method of preserving fruit in colonial America. But as refrigeration became more widely available, the production of shrubs dropped off.
Shrubs have recently made a resurgence and are a popular ingredient in craft cocktails. The vinegar adds a tart bite that works perfectly with so many fruits. It also adds a refreshing, cleansing taste.
Shrubs have also been known as “drinking vinegar,” though that term is decidedly unappetizing for most people.
I happen to looooove vinegar. When I made my first attempt with this cocktail, I asked Chrissy and Naomi to taste it and their faces immediately puckered.
So I tried again, adjusting the ratios to make it a little less vinegary and syrupy. My friends still weren’t in love with it like I was. I put it on the back burner.
But I kept thinking about the flavor profile. Surely, I can’t be the only one that enjoys vinegar or sweet cocktails? A week later, I made it again. I wanted to be sure I still liked it before putting it out into the world here on the blog!
I loved it even more. In fact, I think about it a lot and can’t wait to experiment more with this ginger shrub.
How to make a bourbon ginger shrub cocktail
To make this cocktail, you’ll mix two ounces of your favorite bourbon with one ounce of ginger shrub, 1/4 ounce of Luxardo maraschino liqueur, and 2 dashes of Fee Brothers Orange Bitters. Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, then strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. (These are my glasses – I love them!) Garnish with a dehydrated orange or a small slice of orange peel.
If you like your cocktails less sweet, you can skip the Luxardo in this cocktail and toss in an orange wedge or wheel. But I find it needs a little sweet to properly balance the spice and sour of the ginger shrub. You could even top it off with a little club soda to offset the “syrup” feel if that’s not your jam. Feel free to experiment – that’s half the fun of drinking cocktails!
What else can you do with a shrub?
Shrubs can be used in tons of recipes – not just cocktails! For example, this ginger shrub can be used to make salad dressing, satay sauce, ginger carrot soup, or potato salad. You can also mix it with sparkling water to make a spicy ginger beer or add it to iced tea. Tait Farm Foods has lots of recipes on its web site.
Tait Farm Foods is based in Pennsylvania, so if you can’t find their shrubs in your local stores, you can order online. I’m looking forward to trying out their Spiced Vanilla Pear Shrub and the Sour Cherry Shrub!
- 2 oz Bulleit Bourbon
- 1 oz Tait Farm Foods Ginger Shrub
- 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
- 2 dashes Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
- Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is cold and frosty.
- Strain into a glass filled with fresh ice.
- Garnish with a dehydrated orange or a small orange peel slice.
- Please drink responsibly.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutritional information is estimated and should only be used as a general guideline.