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Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink For Modern Times

A simple shrub is made from fruit, sugar, and . . . vinegar? Raise your glass to a surprising new taste sensation for cocktails and sophisticated sodas: Shrubs. Not the kind that grow in the ground, but a vintage drink mixer that will knock your socks off. “Mixologists across the country are reaching back through the centuries to reclaim vinegar’s more palatable past . . . embracing it as ‘the other acid,’ an alternative to the same-old-same-old lemons and limes,” said the New York Times. The history of shrubs, as revealed here, is as fascinating as the drinks are refreshing. These sharp and tangy infusions are simple to make and use, as you’ll discover with these recipes. Mix up some Red Currant Shrub for a Vermouth Cassis, or Apple Cinnamon Shrub to mix with seltzer, or develop your own with Michael Dietsch’s directions and step-by-step photographs. “Imagine a fizzy, soda-like drink that is drier and so much more sophisticated than soda, what with the sugar and botanical ingredients. Shrubs! Amazing! Wonderful!!” ―Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist

Hardcover: 224 pages

Publisher: Countryman Press; 1 edition (October 6, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1581572441

ISBN-13: 978-1581572445

Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #96,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #25 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > Spanish #539 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine

Vinegar? Drinking vinegar? What? Is this some kind of weird Brooklyn hipster thing, like fixed-gear bikes and handlebar mustaches? Well... it's old-fashioned, and it's clever (preserving fruit was a thing before refrigeration was a thing, after all), and the author actually does live in Brooklyn. But look, the point is, sometimes there's real value in checking out supposedly obsolete or quaint old traditions. Especially when they're delicious.The first section of the book is a nicely well-rounded (but not dry or stuffy) history of the two kinds of beverages that have at various times and in various places been known as shrubs; one has sugar, fruit, and alcohol (mostly rum, back in the day) and one was a sugary, tart, herb-infused beverage that honestly sounds like the 12th century version of modern sodas, except way better (seriously, would you rather drink Arctic Blast Extreme, or Peach Honey Mint?). It's fascinating to read about the way these drinks moved across Europe, then to Colonial Amercia, where shrubs were common. There are recipes from at least a couple of guys who now appear on money, for example. (In both original form, and updated, because Dietsch cares about the historical accuracy but also the flavor.)Shrubs never went away completely, but they sure did become obscure, and that's interesting too. Dr. Pepper claims to have 23 flavors, and that's typical for something invented in early 20th-century America. What can be really great is a simple-sounding but amazingly effective combination of sweet, acidic/ tart, and fruit. It helps that shrubs are very, VERY easy to make at home. For those few ingredients you can get a lot of flavors.

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