Do not let the thought of making shrubs at home intimidate you. Easier than you think and this recipe for a Green Jalapeño Pineapple Shrub is a great way to get started on what is about to become an addiction. Now, every time I look at the fruit aisle, I am thinking “can I shrub that?”
You may remember me sharing some highlights from a trip to Tabasco a couple of months ago. One of many highlights was a cooking demo, another was a cocktail demo given by Kirk Estonpinal of Cure in New Orleans. We have been trying to get into the fine art of making cocktails, especially ones of earlier days with a twist. Kirk’s demo resonated with me, and when I got to mix a cocktail side by side, I was even more smitten. I had never thought to use Tabasco in any of my cocktail recipes, mainly because I thought the vinegar component would be overwhelming. Wrong. He made, or I helped make, a killer Tequila Sunrise, and not the kind you find in most bars. Instead, it was savory and sweet, smooth and very drinkable, not overly sugary or fruity. A cocktail I keep thinking about!
Shrubs are crazy good, kind of like the sweet-tart of cocktails, and if you are not familiar you should be. A shrub is an acidulated beverage made of fruit, vinegar (sometimes alcohol), and sugar. The acid or alcohol preserves the fruit over a few days, and then sugar is added as well as herbs or in this case Tabasco. The result will be both sweet and tart, hence the sweet-tart of cocktails. They are super easy to make at home, and even more, fun to play with when making cocktails or even non-alcohol beverages.
When I began making this pineapple-based shrub I was a bit worried that there may be too much acid when mixed along with the apple cider vinegar, but the pineapple seemed to mellow out the acidity in the vinegar. I did let it sit a bit longer than most recipes suggest as I wanted a more intense pineapple flavor. Before bottling I stirred in some Green Jalapeño Sauce, I used just enough to add some heat and flavor. If you like it spicier, trying adding more than 2 teaspoons, a 1/2 teaspoon at a time. Jalapeños and pineapple go well together in Latin-inspired dishes, and they did not disappoint here either. This shrub is kind of like a flavor explosion!
I have not played around with too many cocktails yet but have mixed some of the shrubs with bubbly water, which makes a very refreshing summer drink. As well, I have mixed some with ice tea, which is also interesting. The couple cocktails we have played with it seems to go really well with mescal as well as tequila. For the cocktail here, I used equal parts shrub with mescal, stirred with ice, poured into a glass, and then topped with some club soda. It is was light and refreshing, with a little bit of spice and tartness!
Recipe: Green Jalapeño Pineapple Shrub
1 small pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into slices
16 ounces organic apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup unrefined sugar
2 teaspoons Tabasco Green Jalapeño Sauce
Place the pineapple slices into a large glass jar add the vinegar.
Seal with a lid.
Turn the jar over once, then place it on the counter.
Let infuse for 4 – 6 days, shaking once a day. I infused for 6 days as I wanted a more intense pineapple taste.
Filter through cheesecloth.
Place the pineapple vinegar into a medium saucepan, add the sugar and bring to a boil.
When the sugar dissolves, skim off the top layer, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Filter through clean cheesecloth.
Stir in the Tabasco.
Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Disclosure: Chez Us is proud to be a Tabasco Tastemaker. This trip was sponsored by Tabasco, and we have been hired to develop recipes using their products.