Shrubs, also known as drinking vinegars, were a popular preservation technique in colonial kitchens. Now they’re making a comeback as bartenders discover how these tart, fruity elixirs can add complexity to cocktails. Chris O’Hare makes his own seasonal shrub by steeping rhubarb and sugar and combining the liquid with vinegar. It goes into his take on a classic Tom Collins—a drink that’s now a favorite on the new cocktail list at Flour Restaurant.
1 lb. rhubarb, diced
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 oz. rhubarb puree
1 1/2 oz. gin
1 1/2 oz. sweet-and-sour mix
Cucumber slices, for garnish
- Prepare the shrub: In container with lid, place diced rhubarb. Stir in sugar until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days.
- Drain off liquid into jar and add vinegar; stir well. Puree diced rhubarb and set aside.
- For each cocktail, shake gin, rhubarb and sweet-and-sour mix in a mixing tin or shaker. Pour into tall glass; add club soda to fill. Garnish with cucumber slices.