Ginger shrub is a sweet and sour mixture of fresh ginger, cider vinegar and sugar that is strained and cooked briefly. While shrubs can be alcoholic (where the vinegar is replaced by alcohol, and have citrus as a base) or non-alcoholic, all shrubs have a sweet-tart flavor to them.
The word shrub comes from Arabic, and was first used in English in the mid-18th century to describe blends of alcohol, citrus juice and peel, and other spices that were sweetened with sugar, then filtered and bottled. Before the advent of refrigeration, these drinks could be preserved throughout the summer months without spoiling.
Shrubs are very similar to gastriques, which are sauces made from caramelized sugar deglazed with some sort of acidity.
Some popular cocktails containing Ginger shrub
- Jack White's Girlfriend — Spiced Rum, Campari, Ginger liqueur, Bitters, Ginger shrub, Orange juice, Orange peel
- Jinjer King — Ginger liqueur, Irish whiskey, Tonic water, Ginger shrub, Egg white
- Berkshire Daiquiri — Gold rum, Orange liqueur, Dry vermouth, Ginger shrub, Lime juice
- Bring Me, A Shrubbery — Bourbon, Falernum, Cynar, Ginger shrub, Grapefruit peel