Winter Port and Tonic with Cranberry Shrub

Winter Port and Tonic with Cranberry Shrub

Recently Luscombe caught up with Gemma Wade, founder and chef at ‘You Say Tomato’ to discuss her recent supper club. Gemma teaches cooking classes, shares recipes that rarely take 30 minutes of preparation as well as cooking up a storm at events and parties.

Gemma created a special non alcoholic drink by using our wonderful Devon Tonic and explains; “I served this shrub with white port and Luscombe tonic as a welcome cocktail at my last supper club. Everyone went wild for it. I think its something not many people have tried but it is so easy to make and a perfect drink for a festive party – serve it as an alternative to mulled wine or gin and tonic.

Shrubs have been cropping up on cocktail bar menus for the last few years but have been drunk for thousands of years. You can use almost any fruit in them, I love making a roasted plum or rhubarb shrub when I have a glut. They’re also known as ‘drinking vinegars’ and are a great way to add sourness and fruit flavour to drinks. The sourness means they are a welcome relief from overly sweet non-alcoholic offerings but they work just as well with a G&T or, in this case with white port and tonic.

The apple cider vinegar also helps on the health front, be sure to buy one with the mother in the bottle – a cloudy probiotic that helps encourage good bacteria in your gut. In a nutshell, the more good bacteria in your gut, the better you’ll be at fighting infection. People are increasingly linking gut health with mental wellbeing too.

The shrub makes a great gift for Christmas – save the empty apple cider vinegar bottle and fill it with the shrub. Label it with instructions on how to use it and give it along with some posh tonic, I love Luscombe Devon tonic.”

To make the cranberry shrub (makes about 750ml)

  • 250ml boiling water
  • 300g fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 150g sugar
  • 250ml apple cider vinegar

To make:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the water, cranberries, sugar until the mixture starts to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the cranberries split and become mushy. This takes about 10 minutes.
  2. Put a sieve over a large bowl. Pour the cranberries and juices into the sieve. Press down with a silicone spatula or spoon to get the juice out of the berries.
  3. Keep the cranberry mush that is left in the sieve. It is great on yoghurt or porridge or used as cranberry sauce. Keep it in the fridge for 5 days or freeze it.
  4. Add the vinegar to the cranberry syrup , mix and transfer the shrub into a clean bottle or jar, cover, and keep in the fridge – it will last for months.

To make a winter port and tonic cocktail

  1. Half fill a tumbler with ice.
  2. Add a pretty paper straw, a wedge of orange and a stem of rosemary.
  3. Pour around 60ml (2 ounces) of chilled white port, bourbon or vodka into the glass (or leave this out to make an alcohol-free drink)
  4. Add 20ml (just under 1 ounce) of shrub then top up with your favourite tonic. I love Luscombe Devon tonic water.
  5. Stir and taste and add more shrub to suit.

Thank you Gemma for sharing the recipe, At The Kitchen for welcoming our Tonics and to Craig Robertson for taking the photos.

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