You may trap flies with honey, but you land even more barflies with vinegar.
Shrub, a vinegar-based ingredient that has been popular in cocktails since the 19th century, has made a serious comeback in top-notch cocktail bars, thanks to creative bartenders.
Unfortunately, shrubs have been slower to gain traction in home bars, requiring, as they do, a long maceration process. Thanks to Shrub & Co., a just-launched Atlanta-based company, shrub is now posed to take over your domestic drinking adventures. The company's first three flavors, grapefruit, tart apple and ginger ($22 for 16 ounces), are already being used in bars such as Seven Lamps and Holeman & Finch, both in Atlanta. Two more shrub flavors, blood orange-cardamom and honey, are set to launch in the spring.
With a syrupy mouthfeel and a sweet-tart profile, the shrubs offer an edgy, delicious alternative to the bevy of cocktail syrups on the market. The ginger iteration is sharper and more powerful than ginger beer, and makes a dry, more sophisticated Dark and Stormy. But we were most taken with the grapefruit, which has both floral brightness and pith-like bitterness. Our favorite way to use it: with gin and sparkling wine (see the recipe).
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