Archive for Boozy

Making Cocktails with Shrubs (Drinking Vinegar)

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog will know that I try to pack as much probiotics into my diet as I can in the form of yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, and even fermented drinks like kombucha (or at least I’m trying with the booch).

I was recently introduced to shrubs, or drinking vinegars. Like kombucha, they are fermented beverages, but unlike kombucha, they aren’t fizzy. They’re made from apple cider vinegar, which is a popular supplement these days that many people are taking. These are concentrated, so you just add a tablespoon or so to a glass, and then top it off with water or sparkling water. People drink apple cider vinegar for its health benefits, which includes helping to lower your blood sugar, and of course, those probiotics, which can help to aid in digestion and strengthen your immune system.

Making Cocktails with Shrubs (drinking vinegar)

You can buy them in a variety of different flavours, and they have that same puckery kind of taste that many people love kombucha for.

Now, you could obviously use these for health reasons. But I was curious as to what they would be like in a cocktail.

Probably my favourite cocktail is a classic sour. The idea is, you take a spirit, and then pair it with something sour/acidic, and balance that with something sweet. Sometimes there is also an egg white added to the mix, to give the cocktail a creamy consistency and a frothy head.

I normally use lemon or lime juice in my sours, so I was curious to see if the shrub could take the place of them in a cocktail. Turns out, it mades a delicious replacement!

I used aquafaba in my cocktails, as I’m not the hugest fan of using raw egg whites, but you can feel free to use them if you like. The aquafaba makes a great substitute, though.

The shrubs I’m using are from Route 18, a local business here in Vancouver that makes a variety of really fun flavours, including turmeric peach with ginger, raspberry and cherry cardamom. Uh, yum!

I made two different cocktails, based on the turmeric and the cherry shrubs.

Cocktails with Shrubs (Drinking Vinegar)

Cherry-Cardamom Sour

  • 1.5 oz bourbon or whiskey
  • 1 oz cherry cardamom shrub
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz aquafaba (or egg white)
  • maraschino cherry for garnish

Turmeric-Gin Sour

  • 1.5 oz gin
  • .5 oz orange liqueur
  • 1 oz turmeric peach shrub
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz aquafaba (or egg white)
  • lemon wheel for garnish

Here’s how to make them:

 

 

 

Wine & Cupcake Pairings

Honestly. There are days when my job is so horrifying… I don’t even know how I do it. Like that time my friend Nicole and I were curious about which wines would pair with which cupcakes, so we got together to do a tasting to find out.

Yeah, it sucks to be me (and Nicole, who is, as I write this, in New Zealand wine country).

Wine & Cupcake Pairings

We all know the basics of wine pairings: bright, acidic wine with spicy foods, white wine with lighter foods like salads or cream-sauced pastas. Bolder reds with heavier dishes, tomatoes, red meats. Right?

But what about dessert? How do wines pair with cake?

We did a bunch of research, and had a hard time finding definitive answers. So we decided to conduct our own delicious experiment.

The wines:

  • Prosecco: SOMMARIVA – CONEGLIANO VALDOBBIADENE PROSECCO SUPERIORE BRUT
  • White: PINOT GRIS – MATUA GISBORNE
  • Pinot Noir: STONELEIGH MARLBOROUGH
  • Shiraz: THE SHY PIG

Cupcakes: (all from Cupcakes)

  • Vanilla with Vanilla Buttercream
  • Lemon with Lemon Buttercream
  • Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Icing
  • Chocolate with Chocolate Buttercream

Our main issue with pairing wine and cupcakes is that if you have a sweet wine, and you pair it with a sweet cupcake, it affects the taste of the wine, making it more acidic and not as pleasant. So it turned out that slightly drier wines were great with the cupcakes, because there was more of a contrast in the pairing.

We liked:

  • Prosecco with the Vanilla, the Lemon and the Red Velvet
  • Pinot Noir with Chocolate
  • Shiraz with Chocolate, Vanilla and Red Velvet
  • Pinot Gris: we didn’t find any pairings that we liked. Drink on its own!
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