Does it seem odd to share a recipe for a “Spring Spritzer” so late in the season, as we head into fall?
Well… it’s not so odd, as the recipe contains an ingredient that can be enjoyed all-year-long: the shrub.
If you are anything like me, I felt the cold of last New England winter acutely (It was painfully bitter and just-darned-freezing). I NEED great cocktails and flavor to lift my winter mood.
I want hold on to every bit of joy, flavor and warm weather that I can, before we plow our way into another snowy season.
Earth at Hidden Pond’s bartender, Matt Dyer makes up these cocktails that are the epitome of fruit flavor. He has ventured in to the popular world of shrubs: the colonial-syle of preserving fruit in sugar and vinegar. The resulting syrups bring out the essence of the fruit. Berries taste more “berry-er”, stone fruits taste peachier/plummier/apricotier (if you catch my meaning).
They are easy to make and do two amazing things: shrubs preserve your summer fruits AND make a great base of cocktails all-year-long.
Here’s how you make a basic shrub:
- 2cups fruit- cleaned, peeled, seeded, and chopped(if necessary with larger fruits)
- 2cups vinegar(apple cider works well with most fruits)
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups cups sugar(use granulated)
- Add sugar and equal parts water to a saucepan. Heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Add berries or fruit and simmer until the fruit’s juices blends well into the syrup. Mash mixture to extract the most juice from the fruit.
- Let that mixture cool. Strain and discard the solids.
- Add vinegar to the syrup, bottle it all up, and store in the fridge.
This refreshing cocktail uses the shrub: a historic recipe for preserving fruit and the essence of its flavor.
- 3/4oz strawberry rhubarb shrub
- 3/4oz Cocchi Americano
- 1/4 lemon juice
- 3oz cava
- Garnish: half lemon wheel
- Mix the first three ingredients. Strain and pour over ice. Top with sparking cava. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Earth at Hidden Pond/Matt Dyer
We hope you dive in and make your own shrubs (and cocktails) with the fruits that are in peak season. Share your recipes and photos with us @kennebunkportmaine and #lovekpt!
Read up on shrubs here.
The New York Times: New World Shrubs for Cocktails
The Kitchn: How to Make Shrubs in all seasons