Thirsty Thursday: DC Caterer Crafts Cocktails Of Yesteryear

Vintage cocktails are nothing new in the event world but we recently learned of “The Shrub” an Old World aperitif that excites our imaginations, as well as our tastebuds.

[Photo via Tasting Table]

But what is it?

A shrub is a vinegar based syrup infused with fruit, spices and herbs and is commonly mixed with alcohol to make cocktails but is delicious with sparkling water.

The origins of the shrub go way back to 17th Century England. The tangy syrup gained popularity in Colonial America but fell out of fashion until recently. Mixologists in the US and Britain realized that what was old can be new again, and began to bring the shrub back to life.

Make your own Ginger Rubarb Shrub at home with this recipe.

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1/4″ pieces (about 6 cups)
1 (7-inch) piece ginger, unpeeled, cut into 1/4″ coins (about 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups sugar
For each cocktail:
2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
Club soda (for serving)

PREPARATION
Combine rhubarb, ginger, vinegar, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is completely broken down and strands are visible, 10–15 minutes. Using a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth, strain mixture into a glass container. Let cool to room temperature, then chill.
For each cocktail:
Combine gin, lime juice, and 1 1/2 ounces reserved ginger-rhubarb shrub in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled Collins-style glass, filling three-quarters full. Top off with club soda.
Recipe via Epicurious