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The Shrub

A shrub is no longer that boring bush that sits in your front yard, constantly needing a trim. Now it’s a hipster cocktail that’s easy to make and is sprouting up on menus everywhere. (Ask for one from the talented mixologists at Steamboat hot spots Low Country Kitchen and The Laundry. It’s also a perfect ingredient to include in your holiday cocktails. Shrubs are tart syrups made from fruit, sugar and vinegar, and they’re quickly becoming a favorite of bartenders. The balance of sweet and sour lends itself to becoming a fun and ideal ingredient to create a bevy of new drinks. Basic shrubs are extremely simple to prepare: heat up sugar and vinegar until the sugar dissolves, pour over some cut-up fruit and let stand for a while.

Here’s a recipe for a shrub that’s perfect for the holidays.

Black Peppercorn + Cranberry Shrub Cocktails

By: Sherrie Castellano | With Food + Love

Makes: 2 cups shrub

Ingredients:

1 cup filtered water

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

2 cups cranberries {fresh or frozen}

½ cup maple syrup

1 cup apple cider vinegar

gin

ice

club soda

black pepper, for garnish

Instructions:

Bring the water and peppercorns to a simmer in a medium sized sauce pan.

Add in the cranberries and simmer until the cranberries are totally cooked down and the liquid is bright red. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and add in the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Stir and then strain the mixture through a sieve into a glass jar. To make each cocktail, combine 1 ounce gin, with 1 tablespoon of the shrub syrup over ice and top with sparkling water. Also good without alcohol with soda water as a spritzer!