Shallow Grave (and Apple-Cardamom Shrub)

I like a shrub.  Mostly because I like sour things. Well, I also like salty things. And sweet things. And hot things. Okay, okay, I just like things. Especially if those things have strong flavors. 

But this lovely cocktail is subtle, sweet, piney, citrusy, and spicy. It's the perfect holiday drink. And it packs a punch. A one-two punch. So plan to sip slowly.

To make this shrub, simply grate up some apples and crush some cardamom pods. Then you let them soak in some apple cider vinegar mixed with a lot of sugar. Let a little fermentation happen. Strain. Bottle. Serve. Pucker up.  To learn more about a shrub, see here. To drink more shrub, see below for a fabulous recipe. 

Once you have the shrub hanging out in your kitchen, you're officially qualified to dig your own shallow grave. Aghem, I mean make your own shallow grave. This one calls for gin, Pimms cup, and lemon. Yes, yes, Pimms is usually associated with the summer and Wimbledon, but let's splash some in a coupe glass and toast the holidays.  We can do it; I believe in us.


Shallow Grave (with Apple-Cardamom Shrub)

Adapted from Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times

1 drink

2 ounces gin 
½ to 1 ounce Apple-Cardamom Shrub (the husband preferred this on the less "shrubby" side) 
½ ounce lemon juice 
½ ounce Pimms Cup No. 1

1. Add ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake hard to blend ingredients and to dilute the cocktail.

2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Yes, it's this simple.

Apple-Cardamom Shrub

About 1 cup

3 medium apples, quartered (no need to peel, core or seed them)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup turbinado or demerara sugar
1 Tbsp cardamom pods, lightly crushed

1.  Using a box grader or food processor, shred the apples.

2.  Add the shredded apples, cider vinegar, sugar, and cardamom to a nonreactive container. Cover and leave in a cool place on the countertop for 2 days.

3.  After 2 days, place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Strain the apple mixture, squeezing or pressing the mixture to remove any remaining liquid. Discard the solids.

4.  Pour liquid into a clean mason jar or bottle, cap with lid, and then shake well to combine.  refrigerate for up to one year.


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