SEASONAL ELIXIRS FOR XMAS
. CRANBERRY SHRUB,
. SPICED PERSIMMON PUREE AND
. CHESTNUT ORGEAT RECIPES
Homemade Syrups and Infusions are a quick and fun DIY gift idea for your foodie and home bartender friends. They only require a little time and thought but will allow your friends to add sophistication, complexity and depth to their cocktails.
I’m sharing three different seasonal recipes for you to experiment with: A cranberry shrub, a spiced persimmon puree and a chestnut orgeat.
Historically, a shrub was an acidulated beverage made of fruit, sugar, vinegar and sometimes alcohol. A shrub syrup was a means of preserving fresh produce, especially fruit. Mixed with cool water, shrubs provided a much needed sipper on hot summer days, before refrigeration. A proper shrub is both tart and sweet, ideal for quenching thirst.
Here’s a quick and easy formula for making your own at home, followed by a holiday season cranberry favorite below.
1. Add equal parts of sugar and water to a saucepan, and heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
2. Add berries or fruit and simmer until the fruit’s juice blends well into the syrup.
3. Let that mixture cool. Strain out the solids.
4. Add vinegar to the syrup, bottle it all up, and store in the fridge.
2 cups fresh cranberries
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
Spread the cranberries and a sprig of rosemary on a baking sheet.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until they are roasted through; about 15 minutes.
Place the cranberries in a jar and add the maple syrup, crumbled rosemary leaves, pepper, vinegar and water. Let the cranberry mixture sit for 24 to 36 hours, shaking occasionally to release the flavors. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing to all the liquid out. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.