I’ve been experimenting a lot with homemade shrubs lately in my cocktails. For those not familiar, a shrub is an old-fashioned way of preserving fruit by macerating it with sugar and then adding vinegar. Shrubs have been experiencing a bit of a resurgence in the craft cocktail world lately and I’ve been having fun making my own at home and then figuring out ways to incorporate them into cocktails.
This was my first try at a tequila shrub drink and I’m really happy with how it came together. I am going to keep experimenting with it a bit. Next time I’ll swap the Cointreau for Domaine de Canton (which I think will actually work better). If you like your drinks on the sweeter side, use less lime juice.
Purple People Eater
2 oz Silver Tequila
1 oz Cointreau (or other orange liquor)
1 oz Blueberry Balsamic Shrub (recipe below)
Shake the tequila, Cointreau, shrub and the juice from half a lime in a shaker over ice. Strain into a rocks glass with filled with ice. Garnish with a 3 frozen blueberries and a lime.
Crush 2 cups of blueberries in a large bowl. You want them broken up really well. Add 2 cups of turbinado sugar (you could also use white sugar, but I like the rich flavor of the turbinado). Cover and refrigerate until all the juice has settled (about 2-3 days). You might need to check periodically and stir and mash the berries with the sugar. Strain through a wire strainer into a bowl, pushing on the berries to expel all the juices. Scrape any residual sugar into the bowl with the juice. Add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar. Put into a jar or sealable bottle, shake well, and refrigerate for 2 weeks before using.
You’ll find there are plenty of great shrub recipes available online if you spend some time searching. Many also combine various herbs or other ingredients to add more complex flavors. And you can experiment with the ratio of juice to vinegar, to create either sweeter, or more pungent shrubs.