Cranberry juice and booze. Not my favorite combination in the universe. I think I ordered a cosmo once when I was 21. I have a friend who uttered the phrase, “I’ll have a vodka cran” for the span of about 3 years. She sticks with vodka sodas now. Let’s face it: The days of Cosmos and Sex and the City are looong gone.
Fast forward to the November 2012 issue of Sunset magazine – a recipe for a Cranberry Shrub, a “curiously refreshing fruity vinegar syrup, originally used to preserve in-season fruit.” I was immediately intrigued. There were so many different suggestions for what to mix with the shrub syrup, and hello, Thanksgiving is upon us. I had to try it. Cranberry and booze, welcome back to my life. This easy recipe makes a world of a difference from scary store bought cranberry juice cocktail.
From Sunset Magazine
Makes about 3 1/2 cups
- 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Bring all ingredients to a simmer with 2 cups water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes until most cranberries have burst.
- Spoon out a few whole cranberries and set aside for garnishing drinks if you like.*
- Strain mixture, pressing liquid out of pulp using the back of a spoon. Discard pulp. Chill at least 1 hour. Store for up to 3 months.
- *Roll the berries in sugar, skewer on toothpicks, and set across tops of drinks. Use that day.
Ways to Shake up a Shrub!
- Pour over ice and top with club soda…and vodka if you’re feeling frisky.
- Make a Shrub mimosa with Champagne.
- Muddle with an orange slice and ice. Add bourbon and top with club soda.
- Fill a tall glass with ice, layer in a splash of shrub, then add equal parts orange juice and tequila…If you are me, add vodka.
- Shake with ice and equal parts shrub, gin and sweet vermouth. Strain into a glass.