I’ve been in shrub heaven this summer and Pineapple Mint Shrub might just be my best one yet. Enjoy it as a cocktail (with light rum or gin) or as a mocktail, simply with club soda or seltzer.
If you’re not already a fan, shrubs are “drinking vinegars,” made from a fruit juice, sugar and vinegar, steeped together and served with fizzy water. Often they include herbs or spices too.
They’re not just great as cocktails. You can also enjoy them without liquor, served over ice.
To make a shrub, you do have to plan ahead because the flavors take a few days to steep. Still, shrubs are incredibly simple to put together and take virtually no “active preparation” time.
I tasted my first shrub at the NY deli, Russ & Daughters a few years ago. (It was an incredible beet shrub that I have yet to replicate.) Although I intended to figure out how to make shrubs right afterwards, it slipped down on my “to do” list.
Then our cousin Zach, a beverage guy, came to visit a few months ago. He explained the template for shrubs and I was off “to the races” as my mom used to say. So far this summer I’ve made three: a Spiced Pineapple Shrub, a Lemon Rosemary Shrub, and now this Pineapple Mint Shrub.
Technically this one is a Ginger Pineapple Mint Shrub. From crystallized ginger as candy, to ginger ice cream and crème brûlée, to fresh ginger in a stir fry with asparagus and sesame seeds, my default is to add ginger. Looking back on my ginger recipes, I just realized that I even made a non-shrub version of this combination: A Seasons 52 Copycat Ginger Agave Soda. (How did I not notice that before today?) Of course, not everyone is so taken with ginger, and in this case the ginger is optional.
With 4 ingredients – or five if you use ginger – this Pineapple Mint Shrub makes a perfect party drink for a holiday weekend.
You can make a jar of this tasty beverage with almost no effort, and set it out with various add-ins and pretty garnishes. Let your guests decide whether they want to add alcohol and/or ice with their club soda or seltzer, while you enjoy the party. It’s my contribution for this month’s Progressive Eats, with its Labor Day Holiday Party theme.
Labor Day Holiday Weekend Favorites
- Pineapple Mint Shrub Cocktail from Mother Would Know
- Punjabi Samosa from Spice Roots
- Grilled Tandoori Chicken with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce (Gluten-Free) from The Heritage Cook
- Summer Tomato Peach Panzanella from Pastry Chef Online
- Vanilla Bean Bourbon Plum Bundt Cake from The Redhead Baker
- Chocolate Sheet Cake with Cocoa Icing from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Fresh Blueberry and Lemon Cream Pie from Creative Culinary
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. Our menu this month features recipes to help you celebrate the last long weekend of the summer, Labor Day! We’ve got a great mix of recipes from appetizer to desserts! Hosting this month is Jane from The Heritage Cook.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, progressive dinner participants go from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
Pineapple Mint Shrub Cocktail (or Mocktail)
A refreshing party drink that takes almost no effort to prepare. This "drinking vinegar" has a nice kick even without alcohol.
- 1 pound fresh pineapple chunks About 2 heaping cups
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons finely diced fresh ginger Optional
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint About 1 ounce
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- club soda or seltzer
- light rum or gin Optional
Mix the pineapple chunks, sugar and (optional) fresh ginger. Put in a container with a lid and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
Macerate the fresh mint. (Rub it so with your hands or with a wooden spoon, in order to release the minty aroma.) Add it to the pineapple, sugar, and (optional) ginger mixture. Continue to refrigerate for another 1-2 days.
Add the apple cider vinegar, stir and refrigerate for another 1-2 days. It helps to keep the timing written on the container top, so you know when you added each ingredient
When ready to serve, (straight or on the rocks, i.e. with ice cubes) strain out the fresh mint, the pineapple chunks and the ginger. Add club soda or seltzer to taste, plus if desired, light rum or gin.
To peel fresh ginger, use my easy method.
For individual servings, I like a 1-to-1 ratio of shrub to club soda or seltzer. And if I add alcohol, it's usually a 1 ounce shot in a glass that is 2 ounces shrub, 2 ounces club soda or seltzer and lots of ice. The proportions are a matter of personal preference. For a party, you might set out the shrub, club soda/seltzer, and alcohol, so guests can make their own. Another option is to pre-mix the drinks using my proportions, with an extra bottle of club soda/seltzer in case guests prefer a lighter drink.