We drank a lot that Monday night. More than we normally do. More than we should have on any weekday, but, hell, we were doing it as a part of our mixology education. The class was with Domingo-martin Barreres, the head bartender at Market by Jean-Georges and he had provided a number of recipes to try that night. Besides the six cocktails we were also given free reign to play with the ingredients purchased for the class. That led to another four or five beverages. Oh, and we hadn't eaten dinner yet.
Two things I took away from that evening were 1) that cocktails incorporating egg whites are da bomb and 2) that shrubs are going to be used in every one of our cocktails this summer. Shrubs, for those of you who aren't familiar with them, are vinegar based syrups. These shrubs are made by mashing fresh fruit with sugar and then soaking the fruit in vinegar for a week. The result is a slightly acidic, sweet, and fruity liquid that can be added to a cocktail to give it a little zip. There are basic shrubs (mango, strawberry, apple), but you can also play around with them to create some fun pairings (mango sriracha, strawberry basil, apple ginger). Here, though, I wanted to go seasonal, so I went straight for the classic strawberry-rhubarb combo.
Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub
(adapted from the recipe from Domingo-martin Barreres, the head bartender at Market by Jean-Georges)
.75 cups cut up fresh strawberries
.75 cups cut up rhubarb
1.5 cups white sugar
.75 cups balsamic vinegar
.75 cups cider vinegar
- In a bowl, combine the cut up strawberries and rhubarb. Sprinkle the sugar on top and then mix together until all the fruit is coated with sugar. Let sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Mash the fruit with a wooden spoon or whatever tool you have around to break up the fruit. Once you have done so, let sit for another hour. At this point, a lot of the juices should have been released.
- After it has sat, mash the fruit again until it is completely mushy. Let sit, covered, at room temperature, for 24 hours.
- Add in the vinegar, stir, and let sit, covered, for one week, making sure to give it a good stir every day.
- After a week, strain the fruit from the mixture and save the liquid in a mason jar for up to 3 weeks. Use in a cocktail (I've provided a recipe for a Strawberry Rhubarb Collins below)
Strawberry-Rhubarb Shrub Collins
(created by Domingo-martin Barreres, the head bartender at Market by Jean-Georges)
Yields: 1 drink
1.5 fl. oz. citron vodka
1.5 fl. oz. strawberry-rhubarb shrub
4 fl. oz. soda water
1 strawberry slice, optional
- Add vodka and shrub to a collins glass
- Fill the glass with ice.
- Top with soda water and garnish with strawberry slice on the rim.