What is Shrub?
Kim Tait shares the history of shrub and the story of how Raspberry Shrub became the first Tait Farm Foods product.
A Shrub Cocktail Guide
If you go back in time and open a 19th-century cocktail book, you’ll find references and recipes for Shrub. Before refrigeration, the fresh fruits of summer would spoil quickly, so resourceful colonists discovered they could pile their extras into big crocks with some sugar and after a few weeks the mixture would ferment into vinegar. The results were bright with fresh fruit flavor, and when some additional sugar was added, Shrub was born!
Since 1987, Tait Farm Foods has been producing Shrub. What began as an overabundance of fresh raspberries was transformed into Raspberry Shrub, and the rest is history! Our Original Shrub offers an ever-expanding line-up of flavors that are fast becoming a cutting edge cocktail ingredient for micro-distillers and inventive mixologists alike. Shrub is embraced as "the other acid" and works perfectly as an alternative to the same old lemons and limes, or splashes of cranberry.
Kim Tait mixes up a basic non-alcoholic Shrub Spritzer. This refreshing, thirst quencher is a drink for all ages from kids to seniors and everyone in between!
How to use Shrub
The mixture of fruit, sugar and vinegar results in a beverage ‘add-in’ that’s sweet with a slight spike of tartness. Shrubs can be consumed alone with a bit of sparkling water, or paired iced tea or lemonade. Since they are already acidic, they need to be carefully balanced with citrus juice so if you're adding juice or lemonade, use a light hand, and taste as you're building your ingredients.
Vinegar is claimed to have all sorts of health benefits, some of which are supported by science. This includes weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, increased hydration, fever reducer and improved symptoms of diabetes. We don't profess to know these to be true. We just find it to be a tangy, tongue tickling thirst quencher!
One simplified formula for successful Shrub mixology is:
Base spirit + Shrub + complementary liqueur + bitter.
You'll have to consider how the sweetness of the Shrub balances out with the sweetness of the liqueur—just experiment until you have the right flavor.
Finally, for a light and refreshing cocktail that is perfect for summer sipping, pair a small amount of Shrub (about half an ounce) with 2 ounces of vermouth or sherry. Top that with some seltzer or club soda, and you have a light and lovely treat. And it's so low in alcohol and sugar, you can indulge in more than one (we won't tell)!
The sky’s the limit when it comes to Shrub Mixology!