Cocktail Bitters and Shrubs


A Shrub is is a concentrated syrup that combines fruit, sugar, and vinegar, and when combined with club soda or tonic, makes a delicious effervescent beverage. Shrubs also make a great addition of any of your favorite cocktails.

If your looking for a way to add a special touch to your cocktails, why not try making your own house bitters, it’s a really simple process once you gather all the necessary spices and herbs. This week we made 2 shrubs, and a batch of orange bitters. For our first attempt we made a Strawberry Mint Shrub, and a Mixed Berry/Lemon Balm Shrub with Strawberries, Raspberries, and Blackberries. The addition of Mint and Lemon Balm to the shrubs really complemented the fruity and tart flavors, these are going to make some truly excellent drinks. Cheers

House Orange Bitters

  • 3 oz Dried Orange Peels
  • 2 Whole Cardamon Pods (Crushed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Corriander Seeds (Crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (Crushed)
  • 1 3/4 oz Rich Demerara Syrup 2:1
  • 750 ml high proof neutral spirit (Vodka, Everclear, Overproof Rum)
  1. Prepare the Rich Demerara Syrup 2:1 (1/2 cup  Demerara  sugar, 1/4 cup water)
  2. Crush or grind all the spices, and combine everything is a jar, store at room temp.
  3. Shake once per day for 1 week, then strain and bottle

The magic ratio for shrubs is 1:1:1

  • 1 part fruit
  • 1 part simple syrup (1 part water and 1 part sugar)
  • 1 part cider vinegar.
  1. Add 1 part simple syrup to a pot and begin heating
  2. Add an equal amount of the desired fruit, and simmer on medium until the fruit has broken down and released all it’s fruity goodness.
  3. Add any optional herbs or spices near the end of the boil
  4. Add 1 part cider vinegar and allow to cool.
  5. Strain though cheese cloth or a nut milk bag to remove all the fruit pulp.
  6. The shrub can then be used immediately and/or stored in the refrigerator for 4-6 months.

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