Tag: Drink

Shrub Two Ways

Strawberry Lemon Verbena Shrub | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Strawberry Lemon Verbena Shrub | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Strawberry Lemon Verbena Shrub | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Strawberry Lemon Verbena Shrub | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Rhubarb and Fennel Shrub | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Rhubarb and Fennel Shrub | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Rhubarb and Fennel Shrub | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

It’s inevitable. This time of year especially. You go to the farmers market and drool over the rainbows of produce. The rhubarb has that perfect blush that begs you to bag up more than you could ever use at once and cart it home. The ruby strawberries glimmer, covering tables, overflowing from their containers. You can just imagine how red they are on the inside, and you take one from the little sample bowl to confirm your suspicion. They taste almost as much like candy as they do like fruit, they are so sweet and perfect in every way.

So you haul it all to your car and then to your kitchen. And then reality strikes. It’s Monday again and no, you’re not going to get around to making that strawberry pistachio pie you’ve been pining after, or pickling that rhubarb to go with the pâté you brought home from the market. You feel guilty, seeing those sad fruits softening by the day every time you open the fridge.

When it comes to fruit that is beginning to turn, I used to turn to compote (the rhubarb) or freeze them smoothies (the strawberries), but this summer that all changes. I started making shrubs, aka drinking vinegars. It’s painfully simple, goes perfectly well with just sparkling water on those long warm days when you want something fruity and tangy and refreshing, and can welcome a taste of your favorite gin or tequila when those long summer days turn into warm evenings and you want a cocktail to sip while you light up the grill.

It seems shrubs are the fancier version of my dad’s old “it’s-too-hot-out” beverage: a Perrier with an entire lemon juiced in. Tart and bubbly and immediately cooling. They take a little forethought, yes, but in all they take about 15 minutes to make and your friends or guests or whomever is lucky enough to partake will be impressed and thankful. I promise.

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Rhubarb Bourbon Sour

Rhubarb Bourbon Sour // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Sometimes you have a week that is hard, but also totally reviving. The beginning of last week was tough, but things quickly got better: good food was made and fun was had and cocktails were made. And an old friend from college came to visit, which always is exciting and soothing at the same time. Isn’t it nice when people who knew you when (“when” being just a few years ago in this case, but still) can kind of ground you and make everything seem ok? That happened. It was nice.

But before she came to visit, and before there was weekend and all that, there was this cocktail. I had finished the actual rhubarb from the dessert I made for Passover, but I had a bunch of this sour syrup left over. And I had bought a bottle of Bulleit bourbon. So, you know, rhubarb bourbon sour time it is. With a little research and a little improv, Jonah and I whipped up this drink. If you don’t have sour rhubarb syrup laying around, you can make it pretty easily by following a rhubarb simple syrup recipe like this one or this one, but I would cut the sugar so that the tang of the rhubarb can really shine.

Rhubarb Bourbon Sour

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients

1 shot (1.5 oz) bourbon
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp powdered sugar (or half a shot of simple syrup) – Note: if you are making rhubarb simple syrup from one of the recipes above, you can nix this sweetener part, or add it to taste.
1/2 shot rhubarb syrup
1 egg white

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a shaker without ice, shake for about 10 seconds. Add ice, shake thoroughly. Pour into glass. Sip and enjoy. Yeah, it’s that easy.