Hello there, and Happy Friday to all! This is a weekend to be celebrating, because with Daylight Savings time beginning this Sunday (don't forget to set your clocks forward!) spring is surely right around the corner.
To celebrate, Chef Mary Howley made the great sacrifice of experimenting in her kitchen with the finest of rums (and other ingredients) to come up with the perfect cocktail appropriate for the celebration of spring and hospitality itself with the heavy use of pineapple.
Take it away, Mary!
One ingredient shaking and stirring the creativity of mixologists these days is the shrub, derived from the Arabic “shurb” or drink. Although shrubs--or drinking vinegars--are enjoying their time as a trending component of inspired bar beverages and “mocktails”, the infusions date back thousands of years as a method of preserving fruit and as a curative elixir.
Especially popular in eighteenth-century America, these shrubs or "haymakers" were composed of vinegar, sugar and fruit, and offered a refreshing alternative to water, which in the colonial era was often unsafe to drink.
Shrubs can be made from scratch (the most common method since it's so simple and much less expensive to do it yourself) or bought pre-made. A well concocted shrub is a blend of equal parts chopped seasonal fruit, vinegar (apple cider or champagne being the go-to) and sugar, blended and allowed to stand for up to a month in a sterile vessel.
Don't be put off by the idea of drinking a vinegar. The shrub adds a unique tangy, tart, sweet, and sour pyrotechnic flavor to any quencher; it really is a one-of-a-kind cocktail experience!
As we recognize the pineapple as the universal symbol of hospitality, what better way to welcome members and guests this spring than to offer up a refreshing Piña Agave Shrub, the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity that extends a heartfelt greeting of cheers and may even provide a little bit of beneficial digestion.
Photo by Spoonful Of Flavor
Feliz Primavera Piña Agave Shrub
makes 1 cocktail, but you'll definitely want more!
2 oz pineapple shrub
1 ½ oz light rum
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz agave nectar
3 oz ginger beer
Mint sprig, to garnish
1. Combine first four ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake well.
2. Pour over an ice-filled high-ball glass and top with ginger beer and a sprig of mint.
Chef Mary Howley is the culinary consultant to the RCS Hospitality Group and a former Executive Chef of her own catering company, several country clubs, and fine dining restaurants. She studied throughout Europe and honed her skills on the East Coast working with a myriad of culinary styles. She had the honor to serve as research and development chef for Food Unlimited, and held the position of Pastry Chef in two James Beard Dinner Events.