Monday, December 19, 2016

Satsuma Mandarin Shrub Martini


This year I added a new treat to my list of favorite things. I wasn't completely sure how I felt about the idea of drinking something that was made with vinegar. But, as it turns out, I'm totally on board and the shrub experiments began in earnest around here. If you haven't tried it yet but are a fan of kombucha, you probably will become a shrub lover.

A shrub is a mixture of equal parts sugar and vinegar combined with fruit and optional flavorings. It steeps in the refrigerator for a few days for the mixture to take on the fruit flavor and is then strained. You can add club soda and drink it with purported health benefits. Or you can add it to a cocktail with guaranteed mood benefits.

I think it adds a wonderful flavor with a much bigger punch than just fruit juice. And with so many flavor combinations, I decided to make a few batches, put them in cute bottles and give them as gifts to the cocktail lovers in my life.

You can actually buy pre-made shrubs but it's way more fun to make your own. And since the gorgeous Satsuma mandarins are in season, I turned them into a shrub that elevated a classic gin martini into something extra special. Cheers!

Satsuma Mandarin Shrub Martini

by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Days (to steep shrub)
Ingredients (1 Cocktail)
  • 2 oz. Gin
  • 1 oz. Mandarin shrub (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 oz. Dry vermouth
  • 2 oz. Club soda
Satsuma Mandarin Shrub:
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Satsuma mandarins, peeled and segmented
To make the shrub, combine the sugar and vinegar in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well to dissolve the sugar. Add the mandarin segments, shake well again and refrigerate for at least two days. Give the jar a good shake a couple of times a day.

When ready, you can strain out the mandarin pieces or, as I like to do, pulse a few of them in the food processor, add back into the mixture and then strain. It will give you a more powerful fruit flavor. Keep the remaining shrub, lid on, in the refrigerator. It should last for a couple of weeks.

To make the cocktail, add the gin, shrub and vermouth to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, shake well and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with the club soda.

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