By Jenny McCoy — Instructor, School of Pastry & Baking Arts
As Chef Jenny explained in her previous post, the virtues of shrubs — those trending drinking vinegars made from a combination of fruit, sugar and vinegar — are many. For one thing, they aid in digestion and keep blood sugar levels in check. They also happen to mix well with most spirits, making them the perfect, healthy-ish mixer for cocktails at your Memorial Day barbecue. That’s why Chef Jenny concocted a seasonal, dangerously tasty strawberry-rhubarb shrub — serve with your spirit of choice or a splash of soda water on ice, and feel good about your beverage choice this Memorial Day.
For the drinking vinegar base
Yield: Makes about 6 servings
8 ounces strawberries, rinsed, hulled and chopped
8 ounces rhubarb, cleaned, leaves removed and thinly sliced
½ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¾ cup white wine vinegar
- In a medium pot, combine strawberries, rhubarb, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and balsamic vinegar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a simmer and the fruit begins to break down. Reduce heat to low, add white wine vinegar, cover and cook until the fruit has turned to mush and has released all of its juices, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the fruit pulp. Refrigerate the liquid until cold and serve in cocktail (recipe below) or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
For the cocktail
Yield: Makes 1 cocktail
2 ounces vodka, or spirit of choice
4 ounces Strawberry-Rhubarb Shrub
2 ounces soda water
Splash of white wine vinegar
Strawberries, for garnish (optional)
- In a rocks glass, fill to the top with ice cubes, add the vodka, shrub, soda water and white wine vinegar. Stir, garnish with a piece of strawberry and serve immediately.
* Since the Strawberry-Rhubarb drinking vinegar base in this cocktail has a dual flavor — strawberry and rhubarb — I like to double the ratio in my cocktail so the flavors really stand out against the spirit and soda water. Of course, if you’d prefer the traditional ratio of 1 part drinking vinegar, 1 part spirit and 1 part soda, that works, too!
Ready to learn how to create sweet dishes like the pros? Click here for more information on our Pastry & Baking Arts program.