Monday, May 4 2020 2:05

Shrubs and Mocktails

Written by Mercedes Thomas

It’s confirmed—mocktails are IN. And not just in Dryrary.


Whether you’re the night’s designated driver, not quite 21, or just prefer to hold the alcohol, you can join the fun of cocktail hour with these interesting and delicious drinks. There are so many more choices than that cloying Shirley Temple for alcohol-free drinks!

Try something a little different—think drinks with farm fresh flavors. Try Baba’s Bucha zero-proof cocktail with flowery lavender and sweet grape juice that’s great for an afternoon break. Or virgin sangria is always a hit. Or to wake up your taste buds and be on-trend, sip something with a shrub.

It’s noon somewhere!


Virgin Sangria

1 lemon sliced, with peel
1 lime sliced, with peel
1 orange sliced, with peel
1 cored apple sliced, with peel
3 C. grape juice (dark or white)
¾ C. apple juice
¾ C. orange juice
1½ Tb. lemon juice
2–3 C. carbonated or sparkling mineral water

Clean and slice the fruit, then add it to a glass pitcher.

Add grape, apple, orange and lemon juices. Gently mix.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours, even better after 6–8 hours.

Just before serving, add cold sparkling mineral water.

Gently mix together and serve as is over ice.


Flower Power Zero-proof Cocktail from Baba’s Bucha

3 oz. Baba’s Bucha Flower Power kombucha
1 oz. white grape juice
½ tsp. dried lavender flowers
Lavender sugar for garnish

Combine kombucha and white grape juice in the shaker filled with ice. Shake well.

Strain into a martini glass rimmed with lavender sugar.

Add dried lavender flower.



Looking for something to add some pizazz to your mocktails? Try shrubs.

What … shrubs?

A little history: Before refrigeration existed and fruits spoiled quickly, the Colonists mixed extra fruits in large crocks with sugar. This was left to ferment into vinegar, resulting in bright, fruity and flavorful elixirs called shrubs.

Today, shrubs of many flavors are still used as a tart and tasty ingredient in cocktails and mocktails alike.

For the simplest recipe, just mix the shrub of your choice with sparkling soda or pair it with a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade for a tangy and refreshing mocktail. Voila!

Experiment with this summery and fruity ingredient to create a new favorite.


Make Your Own Shrub

For the DIY folks. Recipe from

2 C. fruit, cleaned, peeled, seeded and chopped, if necessary
2 C. vinegar
1½ to 2 C. sugar

Sterilize a quart-size canning jar in hot, soapy water and rinse. Submerge in a pot of warm water by 1–2 inches, bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Wash the lid in hot, soapy water, rinse well, and scald in boiling water. Remove the jar from the water using tongs and place on the counter.

Put prepared fruit in the jar.

Heat vinegar in a saucepan to just below boiling point, or at least 190 degrees. Pour vinegar over fruit in jar, leaving at least ¼ inch head-space in the jar. Wipe rim clean and cap tightly. Let the vinegar cool completely.

Store the cooled jar in a cool, dark place (cupboard or the fridge). Let it stand at least 24 hours, or up to 4 weeks until desired flavor is reached.

Strain fruit from the vinegar through a damp cheesecloth or coffee filter. Do this once, or repeat until the vinegar isn’t cloudy. Discard fruit or save for another purpose.

Place fruit-infused vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let cool.

Pour into a clean, sterilized container and cap tightly. Store in the fridge.

Shrub shelf-life is up to 6 months.


Abstinence on the Beach from Tait Farm Foods’ partner Big Springs Spirits

1½ oz. orange juice
1½ oz. cranberry juice (unsweetened)
1 oz. Goya peach puree
½ oz. Tait Farm pineapple shrub

Sparkling water or seltzer

Pineapple wedge or orange slice for garnish

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake.

Strain into a hurricane glass over ice.

Garnish with a pineapple wedge or orange slice.



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