Sometimes the hardest thing about going non-alcoholic (especially at a party) is the lack of interesting things to drink. There are countless books, establishments, even professions dedicated to perfecting the perfect cocktail, but comparatively little effort goes into making a decent mocktail.
A shrub (new word for me) is a vinegar-spiked, typically non-alcoholic drink intensely flavored with berries, herbs, or spices. I was first introduced to the concept of a “drinking vinegar” at the unparalleled Pok Pok Thai restaurant in Portland, Oregon. There I ordered a raspberry vinegar soda to go with my delicious sticky wings and green papaya salad. The casual lunch was off-the-charts, and I was hooked on the tangy, refreshing combination of vinegar, fruit, and soda water.
I had nearly forgotten about the beverage until Bon Appetit ran a recipe for an Apple Berry Shrub several months ago. I jumped at the opportunity, and simmered together a pint of frozen three berry mix, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, and sugar. After straining the brilliant red mixture, I poured it over a glass of club soda.
Give it a shot, it just might give you an interesting alternative to boring cocktails.
Recipe: Apple Berry Shrub (Bon Appetit)