Thursday, March 27, 2014

Springing forward

Time…one of the two currencies that we use to barter our lives away, is much more important, in my opinion, than money…the other. I am sure there are those who would disagree, but this is my blog, and I’ll spend my time here ranting about it if I choose.

See what I mean? We use the word ‘spend’ to describe all exchanges of either. Time and money really do seem to rule our world.

Today, a few confused weeks into Daylight Saving Time here in South Texas, it is pitch dark when I must wake to begin my work day and I am not yet accustomed to ‘light and bright’ when I should be thinking about ending it. Will I ever be? Is it just me; or isn’t it just easier to settle in and wind down around twilight? To my mind, a deliciously shrubby cocktail and a gorgeous sunset are the perfect way to end any day’s toil.

Count me among those who don’t get it. What are we saving daylight for? I find it both stingy and silly. After all, saving daylight doesn’t add one more minute to a day.  It only makes it difficult to know when to stop with one kind of activity and begin another. What’s worse, this miserly saving daylight obsession is encroaching on ever more months each year.

There, I feel much better now that’s said. Let’s move on to happier thoughts.
As you surely know by now, most waking hours, whether light or dark, are spent lost in “shrubbery” here. Choosing fruit, chopping fruit, stirring fruit or obsessing about what fruits are now the ripest and most succulent, takes up every minute…not even dreams are safe.

Here’s the happy news. These early spring days, dreams are full of sweet promise and inspiration.

Loquats are set and plentiful. They’ll be fat, golden and ready to pillage by late May. There’ll be berries of every sort to crush, in just short weeks. Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit still abounds at market. The heady perfume of fuzzy, juicy, luscious peaches will fill our kitchen soon. Springtime is here, and no matter what the clock says, in the shrubbery, it’s our kind of time!
More soon, as chopping as stirring allow...


Friday, February 7, 2014

Weather, or not?

The last time I started a blog post, the temperature was well below freezing here in San Antonio, and I was sipping a steaming cup of our Apple Spice Shrub. (Yes, each blog post is sure to have multiple starts. Life always seems to find a way to intervene between first and last lines.)
Since then, we’ve had just about every sort of weather you can imagine. Bathing suit weather, icy weather, gorgeous sunny days, dark and dreary days, rain…and just this past weekend, winds that threatened to blow us right away. You name it weather-wise; we’ve enjoyed it already in 2014.

Today, the weather forecast includes ‘wintry mix’. A peek through the shutters reveals an almost imperceptible mist that could be flurries or simply nasty wet stuff. Good day for writing.

So, here I am again, attempting another blog post and remembering my father, who was well-loved for his ability to spout uniquely appropriate aphorisms at every occasion, in a wonderful Tex-Italian accent.

One of his favorite weather related ones was: “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, stick around; it will change.”

Seems that life and the weather have that in common. The one sure thing is change. How we deal with it makes all the difference. Smile, learn and adapt…that’s our golden ticket to Happyville.

Here in the shrubbery, we’ve learned that our Shrub Drinks are as good hot as they are cold.
Folks love them in hot toddies or tea, with or without a drop of the hard-stuff. What fun we’ve had exploring and pouring, but that’s another story.

The beautiful photo above was taken by our friend, Bonnie Walker of San Antonio's savviest foodie site, SavorSA, who says she served and sipped hot Shrub Drinks, all through the holiday season. If you haven't checked out her site, you really owe yourself a visit.

You'll also want to check out the "Recipes" section of this site where you’ll surely find a few concoctions to fall for.

Try some of the other recipes, too. Soon, warm and sunny climes will return and perhaps you just won’t mind the wait.

More, soon…

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Shrub Drinks Basics

Each and every Shrub Drinks flavor makes a most refreshingly delicious thirst quencher, perfect for morning, noon or night. Make it in a glass or pitcher. It's up to you. This is just the basics....

Here's what we do, and each of us does it our own way, as you'll see. Collectively, we suggest  starting with a little and building the flavor till 'just right' for YOU!

 For a glass:
  • Pick a favorite Shrub Drinks flavor and grab a tall glass.
  • Fill that tall glass with as much ice as you like.
  • Here's where we (C and C) differ...One of us adds the Shrub Drinks next; then tops off with still or sparkling water, club soda or seltzer. The other, adds the soda, seltzer or water first.We are happy for you to decide which technique you may prefer. In fact, we'd love to hear how you do it. 
  • Why not start off with about a Tablespoon to 16 ounces of water; let your taste buds take it from there.
  • Mood plays a role, too.  Sometimes, we like just a trickle  in a glass, to make us 'want to' drink as much water as we really should. Other times, spicy snacks or dishes, or just a mood-swing, may make us want our Shrub Drinks punchier.
For a pitcher:
  •  We generally use a 1 part Shrub Drinks to 4 parts still or sparkling water, seltzer or soda for our sampling. How big is your pitcher?
That's it!
Shrub Drinks basics are just that simple!

Start and Finish Your Day with Shrubs

Drizzle your favorite shrub over yogurt in the morning for a great start to the day.
Then over ice cream at night for a fantastic finish.
Most every shrub works great,
but we have to say Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper
is our absolute favorite over ice cream.
Simple and delicious.

Click here for printable version of the recipe.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Texas Two Step

1 ½ ounce Bourbon of your choice
1 ½ ounce Summer Peach Shrub

Shake the ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker.  Simple as that!
We suggest serving over snow or shaved ice; the dilution is delicious.

If serving straight-up we like adding ½ ounce of water to the shaker.

Click here for printable version of the recipe.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Jerry Thomas "Champagne Punch"

Glazer's corporate mixology guru, Chef Caterina Miltenberger created this gorgeous punch using Shrub Drinks for her seminar at the Les Dames d'Escoffier  Annual General conference in Austin.

 It's perfection for any holiday occasion.

2 oz Shrub Drinks Very Berry Shrub
1 Bottle of Sparkling Brut Champagne/Prosecco/Cava (she used a Voga )
2 oz Oleo Saccharum (see below)
1 Orange Sliced
Juice of 1 Lemon
3 Slices of Pineapple

In a punch bowl, add in the lemon juice, Slice orange very thinly.
Add bubbles, Oleo Saccharum, Very Berry Shrub, orange slices, and pineapple - Stir gently to combine.
Garnish with fruits in season.

Click here for printable version of the recipe.

Tomatillo Margarita

1 oz Tomatillo Lime Serrano Shrub
2 oz your favorite white or gold tequila
1 oz Cointreau or Triple Sec
2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

Combine all ingredients with ice in cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into chilled coupe straight up or on the rocks. Salted rim and wedge of additional lime optional (but recommended!)

Gives a nice, but subtle bite.

Click here for printable version of the recipe.