As seen in Food & Beverage Magazine.
In late March, I [Lauren] had the opportunity to attend the 34th Annual Nightclub and Bar Show in Las Vegas. This is a massive event with 50,000 attendees and 400+ exhibitors, drawing vendors and people from all over the globe. It’s always fun to discover something new, unique or just plain great at this show, and this year I found it in the Emerging Brands section: a New England based business called Anna’s Kitchen was introducing its new line of Shrubs.
What’s A Shrub You May Ask?
Shrubs are a cocktail mixer and drinking vinegar which can also be used in various other forms and recipes. According to Anna’s Kitchen owner Anna Scott, a shrub is an old culinary term for a vinegar-based cocktail mixer that goes back to American Colonial times.
“In the 18th Century people would often preserve fruit in barrels of vinegar and then combine that with alcohol to drink — this concoction was called a shrub,” Anna explained, from booth 1536. “But then with the advent of refrigeration and the subsequent cola wars, the popularity of shrubs faded,” she added. But now they’re back. The last few years have seen the re-emergence of shrubs, boosted not just by the craft cocktail trend but also the awareness of health benefits of daily doses of apple cider vinegar with the mother.
Anna and her team served over 1,500 samples from her eye-catching corner booth in the show’s Emerging Brand section. Her product was overwhelmingly received by all who tasted it and then lingered for a primer on the history of shrubs and what makes Anna’s so special.
We awarded Anna’s Kitchen Shrubs Best in Show for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that each of her five flavors definitely has that “WOW” factor when you taste them. Anna’s Shrubs uses only apple cider vinegar with the mother (whereas most shrubs on the market are using white vinegar) and are all Certified Organic. Also, they are made with only clean ingredients, which means no additives, preservatives or fillers — primarily fruit and apple cider vinegar with the mother. The vinegar content is the natural preservative, so the product is shelf-stable and doesn’t spoil.
Anna has fine-tuned her product through extensive R&D, creating five unique shrub flavors unlike any others on the market.
Not too tart and not too sweet, Anna’s shrubs offer the perfect blend of apple cider vinegar with the mother, fruit and herbs.
Each of the five flavors can be mixed with a favorite spirit to create adult cocktails but work equally well in mocktails paired with seltzer or tonic. There are also endless possibilities to cook with Anna’s Shrubs — think marinades, salad dressings and sauces.
Each bottle comes with an attached recipe car nd more recipes can be found on Anna’s website.
Currently Anna’s Shrubs can be found on store shelves in the Northeast and of course on her website www.AnnasKitchenShrub.com. Each of her five organic flavors comes in 16.7 oz bottles priced at $19.99 each. Her flavors are:
Peach Jalapeno (cool)
“Makes the best peach margarita you have ever had,” Anna says. “Peach is first on your palate and it’s not too sweet, then it finishes with the flavor of Jalapeno – not a bit, just a taste.” This flavor goes well with tequila, or whiskey, she adds.
Cranberry Mint (sophisticated)
“A perfect martini or mojito fit!” Anna say. “Goes well with vodka, gin, or light rum. The blend of the Cranberry flavor and the mint is truly incredible.”
Banana Turmeric (fun)
Anna says this is probably the most interesting. “Most people taste this and are shock by how good it is. It is ‘all things Caribbean,'” she explains. “This liquid sunshine packs a punch with organic bananas, raw apple cider vinegar with the mother and super-healthy turmeric. This goes well with a dark rum and will make the best-tasting (and quality) Caribbean drink you will ever have. Also, it can be a healthy addition to your morning smoothie.”
Strawberry Lemon Thyme (pretty)
“This flavor pairs wonderfully with gin, vodka, light rum or sparkling wine to create an incredible Mimosa,” Anna says. “All flavors come through with just the perfect balance. The thyme gives it a beauty that no other has.”
Apple Cider Ginger (tough)
“If one flavor is a staple, then it is this shrub that blends perfectly with whiskey or tequila. It has the complexity and strength that not only holds up but complements the strong flavor of a whiskey or bourbon.”