Apple Mint Shrub for a Maple Fig Bourbon Soda.
Here’s a visual of why we are in the BEST time of year.
I mean… figs! Apples! Bourbon! CINNAMON SUGAR.
It’s definitely cinnamon sugar season, right? In my secret brain it might always be cinnamon sugar season, but in my hold-it-together-for-the-rest-of-the-world brain, autumn starts cinnamon sugar season. Because it’s time to hibernate.
Soooo. I have this huge, huge blog crush on Kayley of The Kitchen McCabe. You might have noticed if you read Tuesday Things, but I just want to consume every single thing that she makes. And her photography is UNREAL.
Unreal, I’m telling you. I adore her.
She always makes the most creative shrubs and every time I see one, I swear I’m going to make my own ASAP. I’ve wanted to make a shrub at home for a few years (I kinda feel like it’s baby step towards making my own kombucha… haha) but have never got around to it. I figured this would be the perfect time since I’m losing my brain over apples! And I want every apple cocktail and mocktail under the sun in my life right now.
What better way to start than with this shrub?!
If you’re one of the people who is like, what, what the heck is a shrub and is she going to put greenery or landscaping in a cocktail, don’t fear. I am not. A shrub is essentially a fruit syrup made with vinegar instead of water.
And, um, if you’ve been reading this blog for about five minutes (hello), I am in LOVE with all things vinegar.
I realize that sounds odd, weird even… maybe a bit asinine. Eddie hates vinegar and the moment he smells it, runs away in disgust. I, on the other hand, prefer a touch of olive oil to a big spoonful of vinegar on a salad and freak over anything briney and pickled.
Weirdo taste buds man! They’re a thing.
The apple didn’t want to be lonely in that vinegar + sugar mixture, so I threw a handful of fresh mint into the bowl and it was one of the greatest decisions I’ve made this September. Since I threw in the towel and stopped watering my plants in anticipation of ripping most of them out and transferring some herbs inside, they’ve been growing like dang weeds.
Sidebar: I’m totally going to do some fall planting this weekend! Even though I think mums are ugly. I want to be festive.
Anyway, I have loads of mint, basil and sage, along with lemon balm, chives and lavender. A little extra rosemary too! I actually think any of those would be delicious with the apple, but mint… it was for me. Since I had bigger plans in mind.
Bigger plans that included BOURBON.
(Uh, don’t they all?)
After the shrub mixture sat for about 48 hours, I mixed it with some maple syrup, bourbon, fresh figs and seltzer. The figs. Guys. The freaking FIGS. They were juicy and wonderful and so flavorful. I’m moving to figville.
I love how “warm” this drink is, even though it’s cold. Even though it has a touch of refreshment from the mint. And it’s completely customizable, so I say you come on over and we can binge on a Gilmore Girls marathon and drown in fresh figs. YES.
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated apple
- 1/4 cup fresh mint
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 ounces mint apple shrub
- 1/2 ounce maple syrup
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 2 ounces seltzer, or more or less, your preference
- 2 figs, sliced
- cinnamon sugar for the rim
Place the apple and mint in a large bowl. Pour in the sugar and vinegar, stirring to combine. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap or place in a sealed container or jar and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours. Remove from from the fridge and pour through a fine mesh sieve, using a spoon to press the fruit and release the extra liquid.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge.
To make the cocktail, rim the glass with cinnamon sugar, using some extra maple syrup on the rim. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add the mint apple shrub and maple syrup, stirring. Pour in the bourbon and stir again. Add the sliced figs. Top with the seltzer water and serve! You can also use ginger ale or ginger beer.
Whyyyy is this so delicious?