Classy Nonalcoholic Cocktail for a Brilliant Holiday Fizz
Serve a gorgeous sparkling party drink
for all your holiday festivities. I learned to make beet shrub this Summer, after relishing it's taste when sharing a lunch out with my daughter at the pub where she worked.
Her pal had concocted the jewel of a drink, fresh, without alcohol, in the restaurant kitchen. Surprisingly, the flavor is slightly tangy and sweet, a perfect blend of the two, that's fresh on the palate.
If your first batch tastes too sweet or too tart, simply adjust the ratio of sugar and vinegar in the next batch. It's for sure you and your guests will want a repeat performance,
Beet Shrub is one of the original sweet and tart drinks
and it's having a revival! Early Americans devised a means of preserving vegetables by transforming the veggie into a long lasting vital beverage syrup. Shrub cocktails are popular in pop culture pubs for good reason. More and more young adults are choosing to dispense with alcoholic drinks, but still crave the zip of a flavorful beverage over ice.
They were the forerunner to today's soda pop - a fizzy drink served to kids and adults, flavored or unflavored, punched up with alcohol or kept natural. If the sealed bottled shrub is left on the pantry shelf it will eventually become a bottle of beet vinegar.
Shrub doesn't refer to a bush
but it's roots stem from the same base to the word sherbet, and is rumored to have its roots in Hindi or Arabic, where' it's called shurub, meaning to drink.
Not part of the bar crowd, I learned
to make it in no time and served the result to my daughter a few weeks later, at my lunch table. It was such a success she even asked for a second 16 oz glass. The cocktail is served over ice, mixed with plain bubbly club soda, in a clear glass that highlights its beauty.
Here's the recipe I used:
6 large red beets and 2 1/2 -3 Cups organic cane sugar
- wash and peel and slice beets into large chunks
- shred beets into large glass bowl or use blender like I did (my beets measured 6 Cups shredded)
- sprinkle sugar over the top of beets
- cover bowl and refrigerate, letting it sit for two days
- spoon beats and juice into strainer on glass measuring cup
- gently press remaining beets after juice has drained off to get remainder
- measure juice and add sugar in a ratio of 2 parts juice/1 part sugar stirring to dissolve
- add vinegar e
qual amount to sugar, stirring well until sugar dissolves. Be sure to use high quality vinegar. I used Bragg's Raw Orangic Apple Cider Vinegar, but some use champaign vinegar instead.
- taste for sweetness and add slightly more to balance vinegar taste if necessary. It will still have an acidic kick but you don't want that to be too strong. If it tastes a bit sweet, add up to 1/8 Cup vinegar.
- use funnel to fill Bormioli flip-cap bottles and let sit to age at least 10 days to let the tart and sweet flavors meld
- pour 3 Tablespoons - 1/8 Cup shrub syrup into a 16 oz glass filled with ice and 12 oz club soda
My batch mostly filled my 16 oz Borioli flip-cap bottle and has aged well in my pantry. After 2 months I resealed it into an 8 oz Borioli bottle and refrigerated it on a door shelf to preserve its original flavor.
Photos below Â©2013 by Leslie Sinclair, another name for Papier
Enjoy a perfect sparkling natural cocktail at your holiday table!
Highly recommended for making veggie shrubs, and a must-have for many shrub aficionados who make all sorts of shrub syrups.
Some brewmasters make only fruit shrubs, and for strawberries, at least, use champagne vinegar.
In fact, this is the vinegar my daughter's friend used for the pub drink.
I used Bragg's raw organic apple cider vinegar and liked the results so much that I bought the gallon sized bottle.
Using my Blendtec high speed blender simplified the grating job for me.
I added about a cup worth of large chunks and turned the blender on, using the pulse at first, then turning on the chop speed for about ten seconds at a time.
Then I repeated the process until all the beets were shredded - about five minutes total.
Of course, I use my Blendtec every day to make green smoothies that have so improved my health.