This recipe is the perfect Shrub Cocktail for fall! With spice flavors from the Pimm's, and a ginger flavored shrub, these warm flavors go perfectly with a dry gin as the weather turns chilly. Shrub is such a tasty and underused cocktail ingredient, and it goes so well in this drink. A decadent maraschino cherry makes the perfect garnish.
I wanted to bring some warm fall flavors into this cocktail, and Pimm's is s great pair with the ginger! I know most people use it in a Pimm's Cup with citrus and cucumber, but in this shrub drink its spice flavors really come out and are so good.
What is Shrub?
Also called "drinking vinegar", shrub is a mixture of sugar and vinegar with fruit. The word shrub comes from the Arabic word "sharab", meaning to drink.
Check out my recipe for Ginger Shrub if you want to make your own!
The base could be lots of different types of vinegar, like white vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar. Each has its own flavor, but personally I think apple cider vinegar or Champagne vinegar makes the best shrub.
Shrubs are made by mixing together fruit with sugar. You can either let it sit out for a couple of days to create a syrup, or gently heat it up to dissolve the sugar. Then, add vinegar, with the ratio of sugar to vinegar around 1 to 1, or equal parts. The hot method makes more of a jam-like flavor, and the cold method has more of a fresh fruit taste.
It's pretty easy to make your own shrub, but it's even easier to purchase ready made shrub! I made this drink using Purely brand shrub. It's so tasty and they make lots of different flavors. Great for mocktails too!
What is Pimm's?
Pimm's No. 1 Cup is a gin-based liqueur with citrus and spice flavors. It's typically enjoyed during the summer in a more summery drink (called a Pimm's Cup). But it's actually super versatile and adds a lot of flavor in other drinks too.
Pimm's was first made in 1823 by James Pimm, who created it as a digestion aid. It caught on in London and is still popular there today. (Further reading: the Pimm's Wikipedia page.) It's one of the two official drinks of the Wimbledon tennis tournament!
Here are the ingredients you'll need for this cocktail:
- Gin - using a dry gin as the base of this cocktail gives a lot of botanical notes and goes great with the Pimm's.
- Pimm's No. 1 - this gin-based spiced liqueur is sweet and has a great depth of flavor.
- Ginger Shrub - you can use Purely brand shrub, or make your own shrub using ginger root.
- Seltzer - this will add a little bubbly texture and brightness to the drink.
- Maraschino cherry - this is optional, but delicious and goes so well with the drink's flavors. Luxardo cherries are the best if you can find them. Add a touch of the cherry syrup if you want a little more sweetness!
Here are some ways you can substitute the ingredients in this cocktail:
- Gin - vodka or white rum would work well in this drink too.
- Pimm's - a different liqueur would work, like Amaro Montenegro or a different amaro liqueur.
- Shrub - if you don't have any shrub available, you can make a shrub quick version that will taste similar. Combine equal parts sugar and vinegar (about 1 tablespoon each), along with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of ginger juice. Mix until the sugar dissolves.
- Garnish - add a star anise or a lemon slice instead of the cherry as a garnish.
Give these variations a try when you want to switch things up:
- Non-alcoholic Shrub Mocktail - if you're avoiding alcohol, shrub is an awesome ingredient to mix with. Try using Monday Zero Alcohol Gin and a little cinnamon syrup along with the shrub and seltzer.
- Berry Shrub cocktail - you can use a different flavor of shrub, like the strawberry lime Twisted Shrub, to add more of a summery berry flavor. Muddle a fresh raspberry or blackberry in the cocktail shaker for even more berry taste.
You'll just need a couple of bar tools for this one. Mainly, a cocktail shaker and strainer, a jigger, and a serving glass. If you're using the cherry garnish, also grab a cocktail pick or a toothpick.
If you're looking for new bar tools, definitely check out A Bar Above! You can get 10% off using my discount code, LKDrinks. Their bar tools are really durable, and also can be thrown in the dishwasher when you're done mixing!
Start out by adding the ginger shrub and the Pimm's to your cocktail shaker.
Add in the gin, and then fill your shaker with ice.
Shake vigorously, about 15-20 times, before straining the drink into the serving glass.
Top it off with seltzer, and then add your cocktail cherry garnish. Cheers!
Hint: refrigerate all of your ingredients, along with your serving glass, for about 30 minutes before making the drink for optimal coldness!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you keep your shrub refrigerated, it should last well up to 2 months. Discard it at any sign of mold growth. If you buy pre-made shrub, follow the directions on the bottle for storage.
Although shrubs used to be kept unrefrigerated before modern refrigeration, they last so much longer when refrigerated.
When you're making a shrub cocktail, remember that a little goes a long way! Your shrub is like a simple syrup, but with the sour tang already added in.
You can use it in place of citrus and simple syrup. Just keep in mind that it is more concentrated, so you might need to add some more liquid to your drink to keep it light and delicious!
Shrub Cocktail with Pimm's Liqueur
- Cocktail pick (optional - for garnish)
- Add the gin, shrub, and Pimm's to a cocktail shaker.
- Fill the shaker with ice and shake well, about 15-20 times.
- Strain the drink into your serving glass.
- Add the cherry to your cocktail pick and rest it on the rim of your glass before serving.