Strawberry Shrub & Rum Cocktail
This is what a bright red, syrupy snow cone wants to be when it grows up: a cocktail made with strawberry shrub, rum, ginger ale, and loads of crushed ice. Like all shrubs, the one we’ve used here is a study in contrasts — the sweet berries, the pucker-inducing vinegar — and the ginger ale is here to smooth down its brighter notes with a zippy sparkle. What’s the rum doing? In theory, lending the drink some caramelly burnt-sugar base, but it’s so quiet about it, you almost forget it’s there. Danger, danger!
It’s the quintessential sunny Saturday cocktail. If the kids are having a pool party, we’ll make up a pitcher of rummy shrubs for the parents. They’re pretty fantastic with grilled chicken and pineapple kabobs. If we’re walking down to the beach to watch the sunset, we’ll shake up a batch in a water bottle and throw it in the freezer for a few hours — so that it stays icy cold ’til we find our perfect spot in the sand.
Our tip: We used Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva rum. It’s a nice, complex rum, full of warm toffee, vanilla, gingerbread, and orange zest — everything you need to balance out the drink’s high notes!
2 oz rum
1 ½ oz strawberry shrub (recipe below)
2 oz ginger ale
½ strawberry for garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the rum and shrub. Shake well, and then strain the mixture into a big glass filled with crushed ice.
- Top with ginger ale and give it a quick stir.
- Garnish the drink with half a strawberry — or a bunch of strawberries, go crazy — and enjoy.
Yield: 2 cups
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups sliced strawberries
½ to 1 cup white wine vinegar
- In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar and water over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the sliced strawberries and cook for 15 minutes or until the syrup is very red, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the syrup from heat and let it rest for a few minutes, until it’s cool enough to handle.
- Strain the syrup, reserving the liquid and pressing the berries gently into the strainer to extract more juice from them.
- Measure the resulting liquid, and add half again as much white wine vinegar. (Ours yielded 10 ounces, so we added 5 ounces of vinegar.)
- Let the shrub cool before you use it. It will keep for at least two weeks in the refrigerator.
Recipe source: Food & Wine