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"It's so beautifully arranged on the the plate – you know someone's fingers have been all over it." – Julia Child

You’ve hopefully detoxed from holiday party extravaganzas and have settled back into the day-to-day routine. But, if your resolutions are already in danger of being ignored, at least opt for changing up your eating and drinking routine. Start with this shrub—  a drink with bright and zesty flavors made with ingredients that you’ll find pretty surprising!

And if you’re wondering what on earth this “shrub” thing we’re talking about is, here’s a quick introduction: Shrubs are fruit-flavored sweetened vinegars that originated in colonial America as a method of preservation. They’ve had a resurgence in the more recent past, particularly in the cocktail world.  The combination possibilities are practically endless: you can mix and match vinegars (from champagne to apple cider) with fruits, and for extra flavor, herbs.  Stir them into basic cocktails like gin-and-tonics for a unique twist or pour them, like in the following, into some bubbly. Teetotaler? Sub the sparkling wine with sparkling water.

SCARLET SIPPER

For the Shrub
Makes about 2 cups

1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
12 ounces beets, scrubbed, peeled, and cubed
1 cup fresh mint
¼ cup fresh thyme leaves

– In a quart-sized container with a lid, combine the sugar, vinegar, and ginger. Cover container and shake to combine.  Add the beets and mint, ensuring that everything is submerged. Add more vinegar if needed.

– Cover the container and let stand for 2 days in a cool, dry place, shaking every 6 to 8 hours to redistribute the ingredients.  Strain the shrub and discard the solids.  The shrub will keep for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.

For the Cocktail
Makes 1

– Fill a highball or other glass with ice. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons shrub and top with prosecco or champagne. Garnish with fresh thyme and mint, if desired.

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  1. January 11, 2016

    I just learned about shrub a few months ago. Excited to try my hand at it.

    • January 12, 2016

      Oooh! You’ll love them. There are quite a few of them in our Summer Cocktails book — you can try all sorts of combinations with seasonal ingredients, like blackberries, basil, mint, and champagne vinegar in the summer. This beet one is one of our favorites, though.

  2. January 11, 2016

    Reblogged this on MAXIMUSOPTIMUSDOMINUS.

  3. February 13, 2016

    I had never heard of a shrub before. I’m unable to drink alcohol but really keen to try out the Scarlet Sipper recipe with sparking water or maybe soda water!

  4. February 13, 2016

    might try one of these

  5. February 18, 2016

    Yum! My boyfriend and I made beet vodka once for a beet-ginger martini – this reminds me of it 🙂

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