One of the most common questions we get are relate to how to use shrub and what the difference is between our shrubs and tonics. Our tonics are simply fruit shrubs made with no organic large crystal cane sugar and a little more ACV. They are aged, but only for a month or so. Tonics are meant to be drunk with liquids, esp water for full absorption. However some of our more adventurous customers are using them like shrubs, and loving it. Here are some ideas:
- 2 tablespoons in 8 oz of water.
- A splash in OJ that has been cut with water 50/50.
- teaspoon of tonics in mineral or tonic water over ice.
- measure 1/2 ounce, hold on tongue for 10 seconds, shoot it, follow with water.
- freeze cubes, drop in tumbler with tonic water for slow uptake
- meat cleanse: rub over meats before cooking.
Shrubs and their derivatives have been used for centuries to preserve flavor and nutrients. Arguably the reason shrubs became widespread in early England and colonial America was because of its use as a masking agent. When water went fetid or beer went sour, shrubs rescued them by erasing the unpleasant sour and rancid taste, and replacing it with a known fruit flavor. The same was true for early rum whiskey and wine, which did the same thing.
THUS, shrubs will make the finest natural water flavor. By the same extension shrubs are perfect for adding to soda water, tonic and mineral waters. That IS the way it was meant to be. In spirits, wine or beer, shrubs have a historical thread. You can add fruit or root flavor to any cocktail, or make a mocktail(no booze), that will stand on its own. Don’t stop there, you can add shrubs to juice, tea (think ginger or Spice X here), coffee, cocoa, toddies, hot saki, and the list goes on.
Blend those flavors. Ben Franklin made orange shrub and blended with others for fancy multi dimension punch. We blend shrubs to make Moscow Mule, Bloody Shrubby Mary, Cosmo, and Fuzzy Navel cocktails.
The simple rule of thumb on cocktails or mocktails is 1:2:1. One part shrub(or shrub mixer): 2 parts spirits: 1 part other, like more shrub, tonic/club or mineral water,juice,bitters or extracts or more booze.
Bitters and extracts
Our bitters and extracts are made like shrubs, but again no sugar, no colors, no starches, no flavorings just fruit and ACV the way they made it in 1850s. And they are bitter!!!!! Just as the labels says! Use them flavor spots, rim the glass, drops on meats, simple condiments, lite salad dressing with no oil, dazzle your old fashioned. Four drops into a glass of water, poof!……light flavor, hint of bitter, ahhhhhh. Citrus bitters are full of liver stimulating compounds that really work, especially with the diggestively challenged.
Our bitters will un-sweeten any culinary goof you can think up. Bitters in drinks came before cocktail, there were medicinal after all. And guess what? Zero alcohol!
Syrups and Balsamics
Both on their way, we will keep you posted.