This week, we look into the rise (or lack thereof) of creative craft beverages sans alcohol. Mocktails. We asked Kevin Gavagan, owner of the pop-up cocktail concept Haunt Bar, to fill us in on what he uses for tasty non-alcoholic beverages and he talked of shrubs. No, not bushy plant life, but vinegar-based infusions made typically with fresh fruit and herbs.
Gavagan likes to make a sophisticated soda with his shrubs and shared his recipe for Haunt Bar's popular grapefruit shrub which he uses in alcoholic beverages such as the Paloma Paradiso and a Grapefruit gin and tonic.
At home, Gavagan says, he likes to add the shrub to club soda or seltzer for a nice homemade soda. Experiment with additions like cinnamon and clove or add different vinegars for a new twist.
Haunt Bar Grapefruit Shrub
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Vinegar (Apple Cider is a good choice)
2 Medium Grapefruit
(Spice or other Additions)
Peel and rough chop the grapefruit
Put vinegar and sugar in a sauce pan, warm and stir until sugar dissolves
Add grapefruit and peel (along with any other ingredients)
Bring to a boil and turn off and cover
Let it steep until cool
Bottle and keep for up to six weeks in the fridge.
Grapefruit Summer Spritzer
Fill a glass with ice
Start with one part shrub to two parts sparkling water
Give it a stir, garnish with a piece of grapefruit peel
Sip, and enjoy.