Thanksgiving Recipes

It’s that time of the year again. When bakers, cooks, and even bartenders, are baking, roasting, and shaking things up for the holidays. Here’s a round-up of recipes from my blog, my personal favorites, that are great for Thanksgiving and winter holiday fêtes. There are cakes, cocktails, spreads, dips, candied nuts, cheesecake, ice cream…and more! Pecan Pie with Bourbon and Ginger What’s more traditional than pecan…

It’s that time of the year again. When bakers, cooks, and even bartenders, are baking, roasting, and shaking things up for the holidays. Here’s a round-up of recipes from my blog, my personal favorites, that are great for Thanksgiving and winter holiday fêtes. There are cakes, cocktails, spreads, dips, candied nuts, cheesecake, ice cream…and more!

Pecan Pie with Bourbon and Ginger

What’s more traditional than pecan pie for the holidays? (That wasn’t really a question, because most of us already know the answer.) I love this zippy variation, with a triple dose of ginger and a belt of bourbon to boot. It’s especially good with a scoop of white chocolate-fresh ginger ice cream.

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How to Make a Shrub Drink

A shrub drink is a simple, refreshing beverage made with vinegar and fruit! Drink it as a cocktail or mocktail. …

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

A shrub drink is a simple, refreshing beverage made with vinegar and fruit! Drink it as a cocktail or mocktail. 

Shrub drink

Here’s a fruity, refreshing drink everyone should try at least once: the Shrub! This sweet and sour drink works as a cocktail or a mocktail, pairing a fruity vinegar syrup with soda. This historical drink has become popular at bars, restaurants and with home cooks in the past years, because it’s so refreshing and ripe for unlimited fruity variations. It’s very simple to make a shrub drink at home: all you need are 2 days and a bit of fruit. It makes a killer cocktail and just as killer mocktail!

What is a shrub?

The shrub is a drink made with a fruit-infused vinegar syrup and sparkling water, either as a soft drink or with alcohol to make it a cocktail. The drink stems back to 17th century England, where vinegar was used to preserve berries and other fruits. Shrubs became popular in America in the 19th century. The typical method was to pour vinegar over berries and allow the mixture to ferment for a few days, then add sugar or honey and reduce the mixture into a syrup.

Shrubs went out of fashion after the invention of refrigeration, but they have surged in popularity today. They’re featured on American bar and restaurant menus, where bartenders often have their own signature flavors and blends.

Shrub drink

Making the shrub syrup

After we enjoyed a basil shrub on a recent night out, we were inspired to try a hand at shrub making ourselves. Turns out, it’s incredibly simple and easily customizable to the ingredients you have on hand. Here’s the basic process:

  • Combine equal parts sugar and vinegar. We like the flavor of red wine vinegar here, but you can also use apple cider vinegar, Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar. Stay away from white vinegar (it’s much too strong) or balsamic vinegar (also too strong). You can add a drizzle of balsamic to a wine or cider vinegar if you like the flavor.
  • Chop and muddle fruit, then add to the vinegar. Use the same quantity of sugar and vinegar. This is where you can get creative! We used blueberries here and gently mashed them before adding to the vinegar mixture. Other ideas? Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, peaches, pears or plums would work well here.
  • Add herbs or spices if desired. If you’d like, add any herbs you have on hand or whole spices. Some ideas include rosemary, thyme, mint, sage, cardamom pods, peppercorns, star anise, or cinnamon sticks.
  • Refrigerate for 2 days, then strain. This allows the flavors to fully permeate into the syrup. After 2 days, strain through a fine mesh strainer.
What is a shrub

How to make a shrub drink (mocktail)

Got your shrub syrup? Now you can make a shrub drink! One nice thing about a shrub is that it’s equally as good as a cocktail and a mocktail (we think). Mixing the syrup with bubbles makes a tangy, sweet tart drink that’s incredibly refreshing. Here’s what to do:

  • Add 1 ounce shrub syrup and 3 ounces sparkling water to a glass. You can mix it right in the glass! 1 ounce equals 2 tablespoons, if you’re measuring with tablespoons.
  • Stir well! If you don’t stir well and you drink with a straw, you can get a surprisingly vinegary first sip (it happened to us). Make sure it’s full integrated as a drink.
  • Garnish. Add ice and garnish with fresh berries and herbs.
Shrub drink

How to make a shrub cocktail

A shrub cocktail is a fun and refreshing way to make a summer drink. It’s great for parties or vacations because you can mix up a big jar of the syrup in advance. The recipe below makes 1 ½ cups shrub syrup, enough for 12 drinks. Here’s how to make a shrub cocktail:

  • Add 1 ounce shrub syrup, 1 ½ ounces gin or aquavit, 1 teaspoon simple syrup and 2 ounces sparkling water to a glass. The flavors are great with gin, though you could use vodka as well. We also like it with aquavit, a Scandinavian distilled spirit. We also found the flavors could use a little extra sweetness for the cocktail version: you can use simple syrup or maple syrup.
  • Stir well! Stir well to make sure the syrup becomes fully incorporated in the drink.
  • Garnish. Add ice and garnish with fresh berries and herbs.
Shrub cocktail

More fruity drinks

Love to mix up special drinks? Here are a few more fun cocktails and mocktails that are great for summer:

This shrub drink recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Shrub drink

How to Make a Shrub (Cocktail or Non-Alcoholic)


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 days
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 48 hours
  • Yield: 1 ½ cups syrup

Description

The shrub drink is a simple, refreshing beverage made with vinegar and fruit! Drink it as a cocktail or mocktail.


Ingredients

For the syrup (makes 1 ½ cups, enough for 12 drinks)

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup fruit, chopped or muddled* (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, plums, apples, pears, etc)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Optional: add whole herbs or spices like rosemary, mint, thyme, cardamom pods, peppercorns, star anise, etc

For the cocktail

  • 1 ounce** shrub syrup
  • 1 ½ ounce gin or aquavit
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup or maple syrup
  • 2 ounces sparkling water

For the mocktail

  • 1 ounce shrub syrup
  • 6 to 8 ounces sparkling water (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Make the syrup (2 days): In a covered container, stir together the vinegar and sugar. Chop and/or muddle (lightly mash) the fruit and add it to the mixture, along with any whole herbs. Refrigerate for 2 days.
  2. Strain: Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a jar.
  3. Make the drinks: When ready to drink, place the shrub syrup, optional gin or aquavit and simple syrup, and sparkling water in a glass and stir well. If desired, garnish with more fruit and herbs.

Notes

*Shown in the photograph is a blueberry mint shrub.

**1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Cocktail
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Shrub drink, shrub cocktail, what is a shrub

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Holiday Drinks

This year, it’s a sure bet that holiday gatherings will likely be more intimate, with perhaps more celebrating online rather than around a table. As you cozy up to the chimney…or computer, it’s nice to have a drink in hand either to take the chill off or to make things feel more festive. Unless you’re the lovely Ina Garten, who prefers to make drinks by…

This year, it’s a sure bet that holiday gatherings will likely be more intimate, with perhaps more celebrating online rather than around a table. As you cozy up to the chimney…or computer, it’s nice to have a drink in hand either to take the chill off or to make things feel more festive. Unless you’re the lovely Ina Garten, who prefers to make drinks by the pitcher, individual drinks are a nice way to celebrate more intimate gatherings and you can make just one to two, or scale ’em up to make four or six, if necessary. My hot chocolate recipes (below) can easily be made in advance – in fact, they’re better if they are – then rewarmed right before serving. Marshmallows and whipped cream are optional, but if I’m going to be honest, they’re encouraged.

Here are my favorite and most popular drink recipes on the blog that’ll warm you up, including two types of hot chocolate (there are several others in Drinking French, including a Salted Butter Caramel version), French mulled wine, an apple-based cocktail, and a few libations with cranberries. There’s also a brown-buttery Old Fashioned, a pink Cosmo to brighten things up, a creative Kir, and Jeff Morgenthaler’s amazing eggnog. So no matter where you are, whether you’re at home with friends and family or able to gather out and about, here are some drinks I hope will help make this holiday season more enjoyable…

Vin Chaud

A winter classic in many countries, when they’re open (they’re closed at the moment), cafés in Paris will have the words ‘Vin chaud’ scribbled on a blackboard either inside or out, beckoning people to come in from the cold to have a glass. Patrons are usually huddled around terrace tables or standing at the bar, sipping glasses of warm spiced wine, but this year, mulled wine maison will be in fashion. My version of vin chaud is spiced with cardamom, star anise, cloves, and fresh ginger. And it’s even better if you tip a bit of brandy in it!

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