Can you handle the heat? Cocktails have gotten spicier than ever—and we're not complaining. Which is why we've developed a shrub by macerating blueberries and jalapeños with sugar before straining and preserving them with basil- and coriander-infused vinegar. It's the perfect base for a range of drinks, particularly this sparkling gin cocktail that's got a beautiful balance of sweet and spice.
Don't love blueberries? The best part of a shrub is how interchangeable the ingredients are. Try playing around with different berries and chiles for an infinite number of variations. Strawberry and Fresno? Raspberry and poblano? The sky's the limit. Just keep it hot.
To learn more, read “Burn Notice.”
Jalapeño Shrub Cocktail
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus macerating time
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 15 minutes, plus macerating time
For the Shrub:
2 cups blueberries
1 cup granulated sugar
3 jalapeños, thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup basil leaves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
For the Cocktail:
1 ounce jalapeño shrub
1 ounce gin
½ ounce lime juice
2 ounces soda
Thinly sliced jalapeño, for garnish
1. Make the shrub: In a medium bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar and jalapeño slices. Toss to coat with sugar and mash to begin to release the juices from the blueberries. Transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours, shaking the container halfway through.
2. In another sealable container, combine the remaining shrub ingredients and store in the fridge while the berries macerate.
3. After 2 days (or less if you're pressed for time), strain both the macerated berries and the vinegar, discarding the solids. Combine the strained vinegar and syrup to make the shrub; makes about 3 cups.
4. Make the cocktail: In an ice-filled glass, combine the shrub, gin and lime juice. Stir until chilled, then strain into a chilled coupe. Top with soda, garnish with a jalapeño slice, then serve.