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Shrubs were originally made to preserve summer fruits, like fresh berries, for the winter. These days, you can buy berries almost all year round, since there are greenhouses that grow them indoors and berries imported from other countries in most grocery stores. Berries are the best when they are at the peak of their season and I like the fact that you can capture that flavor in a shrub. I picked up a few baskets of raspberries that were almost over-ripe at the market and whipped up a few batches of my Raspberry Drinking Shrub to make sure they didn’t go to waste.
This Gin and Raspberry Shrub Julep is just one of the many drinks that you can make with your own shrub, and although it is a summery drink, you can enjoy it year-round. It’s a julep that starts with mint and raspberries muddled together at the bottom of a glass. Gin, raspberry shrub, simple syrup and lemon juice are added, adding a bright berry flavor and just the right amount of acidity. And since you might be making this in the off-season, like me, I’ll give you a tip: you can muddle frozen berries with your mint and you’ll still get that fresh raspberry flavor from the shrub.
Method: Muddle, Shake
Drop the raspberries and the mint leaves into a mixing glass. Pour in the raspberry shrub and muddle. Add the gin, simple syrup, lemon juice, and fill with ice. Shake and double strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with raspberries and a sprig of mint. Use lemon-lime soda or plain soda water in place of the ginger beer if you prefer.