This past Friday I happened to be in DC and I decided to drive up to this little store on 14th St., NW that I had heard about over the Tweeters called Smucker Farms. The store sells products from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and many of the producers are Amish and Mennonite families. Although not very big, the store contains mainly food products from Lancaster County. Now to be honest, one of the main reasons I went to Smucker Farms was in the hope I would find a Shoo Fly Pie.
Unfortunately, I didn’t find any Shoo Fly pie but I did find a few interesting things that will lend themselves to cocktail making very well. First was the jams and jellies. Tons of flavors and all looked delicious. Jams and jellies are a great way to add flavor, sweetness and texture to cocktails. The best thing I found though were shrubs!
A shrub is usually the juice of a fruit mixed with an acid and sugar. Most of the time the acid is vinegar. The Tait Farms Cherry Shrub I bought is made with cherry vinegar, lemon juice and cane syrup. On the first sip, you get a burst of fresh cherries. Then, on the back end, your lips start to pucker and your tongue will tingle from the acidity.
For a great article on shrubs and how to make them, check out the Serious Eats article.
I picked the Cherry Shrub because right now, DC is in the middle of the famed Cherry Blossom season. As a result, I’m constantly thinking of a way to create fantastic cherry cocktails. This shrub definitely made a great addition to the following cocktail. It’s sweet, tart, refreshing and has a pleasant cherry flavor.
District Cherry Blossom
1.5 oz London dry gin
1 oz Cherry Shrub
.5 oz simple syrup
.25 oz maraschino liqueur
.25 oz lemon juice
2 dashes Bittermens Burlesque Bitters
Shake all ingredients with plenty of ice. Strain over fresh ice in a chimney glass and add seltzer water. Stir briefly to combine and garnish with mint.
I’m curious, what are your favorite cherry flavored cocktails? Let me know in the comments!