I’ve been wanting to make a shrub cocktail for a while now, and figured Christmas was the perfect time to try something new. So here we go with a cranberry-apple version, just for the holiday season!
To make a shrub, which is a fruit-infused vinegar-based syrup, you soak fruit in a little sugar and vinegar for a few days, then strain. You can actually do this with virtually any fruit, as explained on the Kitchn.
Because of the addition of the vinegar, the resulting syrup is less sweet and a lot more acidic than traditional syrups. But I love that about it: kombucha is one of my favorite mixers, and sour beers are usually my beer-of-choice, so this shrub was right up my alley.
Once the syrup is ready, you add it to some club soda, and top it off with bourbon. You can mix a large batch of these cocktails in a pitcher to serve a crowd, or you can mix them individually so people can tailor them to their tastes (I prefer the latter because I personally like going a little easy on the syrup).
Cranberry-Apple Shrub Cocktail
A fruit- and vinegar-based syrup used for cocktail. Add club soda and bourbon. Cheers!
- 3 apples any type is fine
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- Club soda
Grate the apples and toss the core.
Blend the cranberries with the sugar and vinegar in a blender or food processor.
Combine the apples and cranberry/sugar/vinegar mixture in a sealable container. Avoid using a metal container because the acid will corrode the metal.
Leave for three days. You can let it sit out on the counter in a cool, dark place, or you can refrigerate. I chose to refrigerate because letting it sit out makes me a little nervous!
After three days, strain the mixture over a bowl using a fine-mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or nut milk bag. Squeeze as much syrup from the fruit as you can. Discard the fruit and save the syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Because it’s vinegar-based it can last a long time -- up to a year!
When you are ready to mix the cocktail, combine 1 ounce shrub, 1 ½ ounces bourbon, and 4 ounces club soda. Stir and add ice. Cheers!