Staying up on the latest food and beverage trends is important, especially for bartenders. Consumers are elevating their standards in every aspect of their lives. Initially, the trend was creative cocktails, but it has now evolved even further towards offering low ABV cocktails, developing refined mocktails, sourcing quality ingredients, and being socially responsible. Incorporating all this into a cocktail menu can seem daunting.
But, as Dr. Seuss says, “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” In this case the answer is something that has been available since the 15th century; a new, but old, fruit and vinegar-based concentrate called shrub.
Shrubs can be enjoyed by anyone. Made with real fruit and raw apple cider vinegar, shrubs are a healthy, organic alternative to sugary sodas and subpar mixers. Shrubs are trickling onto the cocktail menus in the coolest spots around town and adding a new dimension to the cocktail scene. Craft bartenders love the efficiency of using shrubs to enrich recipes, simplify ingredients and inspire creativity. Shrubs are an easy and cost-effective way to add a complex component to your craft cocktail list.
Low ABV Cocktails
ABV stands for Alcohol by Volume and is listed as a percentage. The lower the percentage, the lower the amount of alcohol is in a drink. Low ABV cocktails are steadily rising in popularity. Customers can drink more of them without feeling the inebriating effects of alcohol. Similar to mocktails, the obstacle here is creating drinks that meet the low ABV criteria without diminishing the adult, mature feeling of the drink. Shrubs add the complexity back to the drink.
Some consumers are turning to low ABV, but many are ditching the alcohol altogether. The interest in mixology-inspired mocktails is growing. Whether you are at a restaurant, upscale bar, or evening at home with friends, offering your guests the choice of having a mocktail is thoughtful. People have many reasons to avoid alcohol but none of them are because they want to be sidelined. Making a refined mocktail can be more challenging than making a cocktail. Shrubs are an invaluable mixer in mocktails. They consist of complementing and contrasting flavors that stand well on their own and lend depth, dimension, and body to a mocktail. Mocktails can be delicious, nutritious and inexpensive for all ages.
Today’s consumer is demanding clean food free of artificial ingredients, and colors and artificial flavor. The same holds true with their cocktails. Traditional store-bought cocktail mixers have fallen out of favor because they are poor quality; full of artificial flavors, colors and high fructose corn syrup. The best thing about shrubs is that they can be enjoyed by all ages. High-quality shrubs are made with real fruit and raw apple cider vinegar with the mother, making them a healthy, alternative to sugary sodas and artificial mixers.
In addition to being healthy, consumers recognize the importance of sustainable and responsibly produced products. In the US it is estimated that we are wasting 6 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables every year because it does not meet the strict visual requirements. This perfectly delicious produce goes unharvested or unsold because of its looks. Shrubs are made with this “lower grade,” but equally delicious, produce. Shrubs are created when pureed fruit is combined with vinegar and sugar and left to mature. A unique concentrate is conceived. Creating uses for cosmetically imperfect fruit and vegetables is a significant step towards being socially and environmentally responsible.
Handcrafted by Anna Scott in her own kitchen and manufactured locally in Rhode Island, Anna’s Kitchen Shrubs are made with certified organic fruits, vegetables, herbs and raw apple cider vinegar with the mother. Anna’s Kitchen Shrubs are offered in 5 unique, award-winning flavors and can be added to your cocktails, mocktails, salad dressings, marinades, sauces, or can simply act as a refreshing drinking vinegar.
Anna’s Kitchen LLC. is a privately held company operating out of Barrington, RI with widespread distribution capabilities for businesses and consumers through direct online ordering, at various grocery and liquor stores, or by partnering with purveyors.