In the past, bartenders used to make drinks from a Rolodex of classic drink recipes. Rum and cokes, whiskey sours, margaritas, you get the idea. Fresh or seasonal ingredients were saved for the kitchen. Commercially prepared mixes were frequently used.
Today, the culinary revolution is exploding to include the front of the house. Bartenders are creating drinks (not making). These drinks are as equally creative as the food that the renowned chef in the kitchen is making.
These are exciting times for the bar industry. The problem is creativity and craft take time and money. Time to create the drinks, time to make the drinks, time to stay current on the trends of drinks, time to make the drinks look as good as they taste and taste as good as they look. All this time is money. On top of this, consumers are demanding clean food, free of artificial ingredients, free of colors and artificial flavors. Traditional store-bought cocktail mixers are poor quality, full of artificial flavors, colors, and high fructose corn syrup. These mixes simply don’t cut it with today’s crowd.
As bartenders are looking to be innovative and delicious, easy is a welcome bonus. In the quest of looking for the next new thing for your cocktail menu, we’d like to introduce you to a new product based on something old. Shrubs. Made with real fruit and raw apple cider vinegar with the mother, shrubs are a healthy, organic alternative to sugary sodas and subpar mixers. The bold taste of the newly created shrubs is a blend of fruit and herb flavors just asking for a place in your flavor toolbox.
Craft bartenders will love the efficiency of using shrubs to enrich recipes, simplify ingredients and inspire creativity. The modern-day shrub consists of complementing and contrasting flavors that stand well on their own and lead to depth, dimension, and body to a cocktail.
Shrubs originated during the colonial times when seasonal fruits were stored in barrels of vinegar for preservation, prior to refrigeration. The result was a dynamic fruit-flavored liquid concentrate that was both refreshing and vibrant. They became a wildly popular drink, often combining shrubs with spirits, and claimed that it would improve vitality, increase energy and improve tolerance to hot weather. The popularity of Shrubs faded with the arrival of refrigeration. Sometimes, history does repeat itself. In this case, it comes as a new, but old, cocktail mixer.
If Shrubs are not making an appearance on your cocktail menu, you are missing a great opportunity. Shrubs are an easy and cost-effective way to add a complex component to your craft cocktail list. They provide well-balanced flavors that stand well on their own. Due to the high vinegar content, they are shelf-stable even after they are opened. Consumers are embracing the craft cocktail movement, shifting away from artificial ingredients, and requesting lower ABV cocktails and non-alcoholic options and shrubs provide an easy and delicious answer.
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.