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Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times Hardcover – 9 Dec 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (9 Dec. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581572441
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581572445
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 2 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Imagine a fizzy, soda-like drink that is drier and so much more sophisticated than soda, what with the sugar and botanical ingredients. Shrubs! Amazing! Wonderful!" Amy Stewart, the Drunken Botanist "

"Shrubs: The Reason You Should Be Drinking Vinegar This Summer." The Boston Globe "

From berry-bright shrubs that spark nonalcoholic refreshers to life, to spicy and savory mixtures destined for the cocktail shaker, Michael Dietsch's recipes give us plenty of reasons to dig into this long-overlooked realm of drinks. --Paul Clarke, Executive Editor"

Shot through with history and formulas for making your own seasonal shrubs, Michael Dietsch's excellent debut serves as a year-round resource for cocktail geeks and DIY enthusiasts looking to take their farmers' market finds to the next level. Transform sweet and savory ingredients into a rainbow of inventive flavor combinations that are perfect for sipping on their own., as the base of enlightened homemade soda, or as a key component in a refreshing cocktail. --Brad Thomas Parsons, Author of Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All"

Michael Dietsch has poked a pinhole in the past, and from this has projected the whole curious enterprise of drinkable vinegars in an enchanting light. Who would have thought spoiled wine or cider could taste so good?--Wayne Curtis, Author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails

Imagine a fizzy, soda-like drink that is drier and so much more sophisticated than soda, what with the sugar and botanical ingredients. Shrubs! Amazing! Wonderful!--Amy Stewart, the Drunken Botanist

Shrubs: The Reason You Should Be Drinking Vinegar This Summer.

About the Author

Michael Dietsch is a writer, editor, and accidental bartender in Brooklyn. He is a contributor at SeriousEats.com and writes about spirits and cocktails at the website A Dash of Bitters. When he's not mixing drinks, he's smoking huge chunks of meat, grilling vegetables, bicycling, or enjoying a fine cigar. The author of Shrubs, he lives in Reston, Virginia, with his family.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shrubs are going to be one of the hot cocktail trends of the next few years. This book provides an excellent background and history of the class of drink along with a wide variety of recipe ideas for home and bar including ideas for incorporating your creations into cocktails. In addition the photography is excellent. Only minor issue for someone from the UK is converting all the measures from cups to grams / oz.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A lot of great recipes, and a wonderful outline of shrubs on general.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good starting for working with shrubs.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent! !!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9038f840) out of 5 stars 55 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f0432a0) out of 5 stars Possibly hip, but definitely not just trendy 13 Nov. 2014
By Erik H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Vinegar? Drinking vinegar? What? Is this some kind of weird Brooklyn hipster thing, like fixed-gear bikes and handlebar mustaches? Well... it's old-fashioned, and it's clever (preserving fruit was a thing before refrigeration was a thing, after all), and the author actually does live in Brooklyn. But look, the point is, sometimes there's real value in checking out supposedly obsolete or quaint old traditions. Especially when they're delicious.

The first section of the book is a nicely well-rounded (but not dry or stuffy) history of the two kinds of beverages that have at various times and in various places been known as shrubs; one has sugar, fruit, and alcohol (mostly rum, back in the day) and one was a sugary, tart, herb-infused beverage that honestly sounds like the 12th century version of modern sodas, except way better (seriously, would you rather drink Arctic Blast Extreme, or Peach Honey Mint?). It's fascinating to read about the way these drinks moved across Europe, then to Colonial Amercia, where shrubs were common. There are recipes from at least a couple of guys who now appear on money, for example. (In both original form, and updated, because Dietsch cares about the historical accuracy but also the flavor.)

Shrubs never went away completely, but they sure did become obscure, and that's interesting too. Dr. Pepper claims to have 23 flavors, and that's typical for something invented in early 20th-century America. What can be really great is a simple-sounding but amazingly effective combination of sweet, acidic/ tart, and fruit. It helps that shrubs are very, VERY easy to make at home. For those few ingredients you can get a lot of flavors.

A few months ago I made a batch of a really simple strawberry shrub, and on day one it tastes like sugar, strawberries, and vinegar -- which is surprisingly good. Lemonade is acidic, after all, and that's why we like it. A couple of weeks later, after some chemistry has happened and the flavors have mellowed, it's ridiculous how bright and deep the strawberry flavor is. The second half of the book is recipes, and I look forward to trying out most of them.

Special shout-out to the lovely photos, It's a fun and great-looking book.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f0432f4) out of 5 stars easy to follow and old school charm 7 Oct. 2014
By Andi Szilagyi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fantastically written and gorgeous drinks cookbook. The recipes are straightforward, easy to follow, and the photography of the drinks and some accompanying food is great. These drinks are starting to make a comeback, and are part of North American history, back to the colonial American era. Not all of them are alcoholic drinks, either, and some of those could work fine if you just exclude the alcohol. It's a great purchase and it's going to take a while to work through my new drinking backlog. I sort of feel like I should wear a tricorne when I read the book, in a good way.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2bc1d4) out of 5 stars Magnificent collection! 22 Oct. 2014
By Tim Thraves - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I tried one of Michael's recipes that I found in a magazine and was instantly hooked. The book does a magnificent job of discussing the history of shrubs, the different styles through time, a vast collection of recipes, and finally some really outstanding cocktails utilizing the shrubs. The photography is great, the writing is spot on, and the recipes are simple to follow and execute as well providing reasons why he went certain directions with different recipes. I've tried another 3 recipes since getting the book less than a month ago, and my children beg me to make a new one the second we've gone through one. I highly recommend this book for adults looking for an alternative to overly sweet soft drinks, and aspiring cocktail makers looking for new and exciting ingredients for your concoctions.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f04357c) out of 5 stars We Need More Vinegar 12 Nov. 2014
By Lew Bryson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There I was, telling my kids (20 and 23, still in college, so they kind of listen to me) that German cooking was misunderstood because vinegar was such an underrated flavor. Vinegar is great stuff, I told them, but we're told "sour" is bad! Grumble, grumble...and then Michael Dietsch's book arrived in the mail. I haven't stopped the sour since.
Shrubs are a terrific thirst quencher, going back to the old horse cavalry trick of pouring a couple caps of vinegar in the water in your canteen to cut the dust. I pour a few tablespoons of shrub (the cranberry's delicious) into a tall glass of club soda and ice, and I don't need anything else. It's easier and more rewarding than the homebrewing I used to do. Great book, highly recommended.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f04372c) out of 5 stars If you like fruity, herbal, and tangy beverages; then you have to get this book. 3 Nov. 2014
By JMForester - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Everything you ever wanted to know about the historical fruit and vinegar beverage called Shrub. Michael Dietsch has done a great job on researching the history of these alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as discussing how to make them. He has both recipes, and information on how to create your own. Shrubs once very popular up to around a hundred years ago, are now becoming popular again. They are mostly seen in high end restaurants and cocktail bars, but with this book you can easily make them at home. Whether you want non-alcoholic ones to serve to family, guests and kids, or the alcoholic ones with a bit of a kick, you'll be able to make them with no worries. I had made some shrubs in the past, but after reading this I immediately created several new shrubs based on Dietsch's recipes such as plum and spices, peach and herbs, and one where I tried something totally new, guava with rose and vanilla. A friend came over to visit the other day. She can't drink much alcohol because of medication. She told me she had tried a shrub at a local restaurant and liked it very much. When she heard I had made some I had to serve her them. She ended up going home with several bottles of the various shrub syrups I had made. If you like fruity, herbal, and tangy beverages; then you have to get this book.
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