21 October 2014

Shrubs

We love shrubs.  During the summer, we get gigantic boxes of blueberries and look forward to a good blueberry shrub.  Over at Lucindaville, our reoccurring drink posts, Cocktails At The Burnpit, featured the Last Hurrah, our farewell to summer cocktail featuring both blueberry shrub and vodka. We always keep a bottle of Pok Pok Som Drinking Vinegar on hand. So as soon as we heard that Michael Dietsch was writing a book about shrubs, we  clicked the pre-ordered button. 

Shrubs are not terribly hard to make.  They are basically a mashed fruit or vegetable, some sugar, some vinegar, steeped and strained.  That being said, the thought of moving past blueberry or raspberry seemed a bit difficult.  Well, not if you have Shrubs.

Dietsch starts out with history of shrubs, filled with references to many cookbooks, bar guides, and botanical treatise...and we do love a good cookbook reference!  Then he moves on to shrub recipes for every occasion.  Yes, there is Benjamin Franklin's Shrub as well as Martha Washington's.  There are simple fruit shrubs and a veggie shrub here and there.  Great combinations here and there and finally a collection of cocktails featuring the delightful shrubs in the book.  Our burnpit is going to jumping!

A lot of times, we need a single stalk of celery for something.  Then, we have a big bunch of celery that just sits in the crisper getting limp.  This is the perfect antidote to that occurrence.

Celery Shrub

1 pound of celery, leaves still attached
1 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar

1. Wash celery stalks and, if necessary, scrub with a vegetable brush to remove dirt.

2. Cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces.

3. Add the celery to blender and and cover with about 1/2 cup water.

4. Start the blender on low, and as the celery starts to get chopped up, turn the speed up to puree.  If after about 30 seconds, the mixture is still very thick and chunky, add a little more water.

5. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl.  Line with a piece of cheesecloth if desired. Pour the celery mixture through the strainer. Press or squeeze the celery puree to express the juice into the bowl.

6. Pour the celery juice into a jar.  Add sugar and cider vinegar.  Cap the jar and shake to combine.

7. Refrigerate, shaking well every other day or so to dissolve the sugar.

If you have never had shrub, you are missing out!  Now you know exactly what you are missing and how to remedy that situation.  Now grab up a copy of  Michael Dietsch's Shrubs for yourself or some other cocktail maven.  They will be king of the bar...or queen of the burnpit.

1 comment:

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