No, I'm not telling you to drink that round, green plant in your front yard. "Shrubs" are also known as "drinking vinegars," and as old-fashioned cocktails have made their way back onto menus all around Seattle, you've probably seen more of these vinegar-based drinks as well.
Shrubs were very popular in 15th-century England and are made by mixing vinegar with fruit and sugar. After the ingredients have had some time to hang out together, the acid from the vinegar diminishes and you're left with a complex, tangy syrup.
Here are 5 of Seattle's best cocktails made with shrubs to sip this summer.
BOKA: Pineapple Shrub. Right now, BOKA has several house made shrubs, but the pineapple is my favorite. It's a simple drink: pineapple shrub, Belvedere vodka, and a splash of soda, served on the rocks. Pair it with their Ahi Tuna Poke appetizer dish and sit outside to people-watch as the tourists walk by.
1010 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98104Neighborhood: Downtown
Rocco's: Build-Your-Own. Rocco's has several different shrub-based drinks on the menu, but the most fun is the Build-Your-Own. When you order one, you'll get a tray with the shrub, a spirit, crushed ice, and a soda. You can then mix your own drink to find the perfect balance of sweet and sour for your palate. Flavors on the menu right now include raspberry with Broker's gin, pineapple with vanilla Luksusowa vodka, and persimmon with Dry Curacao.
2228 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA 98121
Canon: D.C. Crack. It's hard to make a "best-of" drink list in Seattle without mentioning craft cocktail favorite Canon. New to their Summer 2014 menu is the D.C. Crack made with Bowman Bros. Bourbon, Unicom plum, marionberry shrub, bitters, and a giant ice cube. (Marionberry. Get it?)
928 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122 Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Miyabi 45th: Clockwork Orange. The sweetest of the drinks on this list, the Clockwork Orange is great for beginners to the tartness of shrubs. It's made with a Satsuma shrub, honey kumquat vodka, and Prosecco and pairs really well with the saltiness of Miyabi's fried oysters.
2208 N 45th St
Seattle, WA 98103
Spur Gastropub: Time Has Its Revenges. The genius behind this drink, bartender Seth Sempere, recently won the title of Seattle's "Most Imaginative Bartender" from Bombay Sapphire. Time Has Its Revenges is made with Bombay Sapphire gin, blanc vermouth, absinthe, Thai basil shrub, and fresh lime juice. Sempere was even kind enough to give us the recipe when we stopped by.
Time Has Its Revenges1.75 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin.75 oz blanc vermouth.25 oz absinthe.66 oz Thai basil drinking vinegar .5 oz fresh lime juiceFor the standard cocktail shake and double-strain into a cocktail glass
113 Blanchard St
Seattle, WA 98121