It may share its moniker with the center of a Monty Python sketch, but behind the bar, shrub is no joke.
This concentrated syrup made from ripe fruit, sugar and vinegar--a medley rescued from time by historically minded bartenders--interacts perfectly with wine or spirits to evoke the best days of summer.
At San Francisco's Frances, beverage director Paul Einbund likes to play around with local citrus, like Pixie mandarins and Meyer lemons. The latter stars in a shot-size cocktail rounded out with agave wine, Moscato Chinato and orange bitters.
Mixologist Kelly Slagle, of New York's democratic wine house Terroir Tribeca, mingles house-made rhubarb shrub with red wine and rich port to make her River Volga (click here to download recipe), a cerebral aperitif.
At Holeman & Finch in Atlanta, options range from the familiar (local blueberries) to the boldly unconventional (jalapeño-strawberry). Drinks guru Andy Minchow also cooks up a knockout peach shrub--simply paired with rye and seltzer--to celebrate the Georgia summer.
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