An old trick in the cocktail trade, the shrub syrup goes as far back as Colonial America. Sugar and vinegar were used to preserve fruit prior to the invention of refrigeration.
Sweet and tart in flavor, the shrub can be added to soda water to make a refreshing beverage. Bartenders are using the shrub for its versatility and simplicity.
The Rhubarb Shrub
8 oz. rhubarb, diced
8 oz. granulated sugar
1/3 c. Apple cider vinegar
Combine the rhubarb and sugar in bowl, mix until rhubarb is covered in sugar. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. The rhubarb will become liquefied and pulp like. Remove from the refrigerator and press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the solids. Combine the rhubarb sugar syrup with the apple cider vinegar. Shake to help dissolve any remaining sugar. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
1.5 oz. gin
1 oz. rhubarb shrub
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
In an iced filled pint glass add gin, rhubarb shrub, and lemon juice. Roll the drink and add more ice if needed. Top with club soda. Garnish with seasonal strawberries or a pickled rhubarb stalk.
A bonus video for the Monty Python fans! (we couldn’t help ourselves)