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stormy and awesome

Recipe: ginger shrub dark and stormy cocktail

We have entered this lovely stormy pattern of snow, snow, and more snow. Hey – better late than never. Our wonderful neighbor always gets up early after a big snowfall and snow blowers his driveway, our driveway, the common driveway, and the other neighbors’ driveways. Sometimes I’ll take fresh baked cookies over, or maybe a coconut custard tart, or perhaps some cinnamon rolls. I love neighborly neighbors. Before the latest round of storms, we enjoyed a lull of 2 sunny days with no wind. NO WIND. So rare and yet so coveted! I scrambled to get my work done and then grabbed my skis for a solo skin into the mountains before the sun retired for the day.


beautiful, quiet, solitude



The clouds moved in a few days later and the snow has been falling ever since. In winter, we pay attention to the weather not just for the ski potential, but to avoid unnecessary travel when conditions in the canyon are hazardous. I managed to take care of all business in town on Wednesday morning, driving back up the canyon just as the snow and clouds blotted out the sun above, but Jeremy had meetings that went into late afternoon when the storm was fully underway. He planned to take the bus home (usually a safer option during storms), but had to wait a couple of hours at the RTD station while emergency crews cleared an accident that had closed the entire canyon. When he finally got home several hours after he had left his office, I handed him a cocktail – because I knew he needed it. It was a dark and stormy, which seemed appropriate.

But this dark and stormy was made with ginger shrub rather than ginger beer. My friend, Cindi, asked me for a ginger shrub recipe earlier this month because her husband loves the stuff, but didn’t want to keep paying major cash for bottle after bottle. I didn’t have a recipe that I had tried, but shrubs are pretty straightforward to make. I did a quick search, looked over a couple of recipes, and sent along the one that looked best with the caveat that I hadn’t tested it.


ginger, cider vinegar, sugar

slice the ginger

it’s just these three things: ginger, vinegar, sugar



Most shrub recipes I found involving ginger pair it with another fruit like pear, peach, blueberry. Those all sounded lovely, but the request was for ginger shrub. I got an email from Cindi a few days later with a photo of the ginger shrub that her husband had bottled. He gave it a thumbs up. Curious to try it myself, I grabbed some ginger from the refrigerator (I always have lots of ginger in my house) and set to work.

heat the vinegar and the ginger

pour it into a glass or steel vessel and let it cool to room temperature

cover and let it sit for 24 hours at room temperature



All of the shrubs I’ve made before were cold-processed because the flavors (peach, strawberry, huckleberry) benefit from the non-cooking method. Ginger is far less delicate than summer fruits, so I figured the heat-process method would be fine.

strain the ginger out

my yield was about 7 ounces

heat the liquid and sugar together

let cool then refrigerate (i gave it a week)



Ginger shrub makes a nice mock ginger beer if you add it to sparkling water. I like it with a big squeeze of lime too. That’s where the dark and stormy comes in. Traditionally, a dark and stormy cocktail is just dark rum with ginger beer and lime for garnish. This version has that shrubby zing from the vinegar and some lime juice to boot. Normally you would shake the shrub, rum, and lime juice together, then top off with soda water, but I did it backwards in the photo to achieve that stratified look.

ginger shrub, limes, seltzer water, dark rum

juice a lime

measured out

pour in the soda water

add lime juice

pour in the rum and ginger shrub



Mountain living has its stressors – different from urban and suburban stressors (thank goodness), but we accept them to live in paradise. The cocktail hit the spot as Jeremy plopped down into a chair and took a sip. His eyes widened. “That’s REALLY good!” he squeaked in both surprise and exhaustion. Jeremy has always maintained indifference to shrubs in general, but he’s partial to ginger and he’s partial to booze. I’m not much of a boozer, but I am quite fond of this ginger shrub. Ginger is both refreshing and warming, with a clean flavor that works well on its own or plays nicely with others. Endless possibilities, but first, make this super easy ginger shrub!

the ginger shrub dark and stormy

garnish with lime



Ginger Shrub Dark and Stormy Cocktail
[print recipe]

ginger shrub
from this old page

1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 to 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)

Heat the peeled ginger slices and the cider vinegar in a small saucepan until the vinegar begins to simmer at the edges of the pan. Remove from heat and pour the contents into a glass, pyrex, or steel vessel. Let it cool completely, then cover it with plastic wrap or a lid and let it sit for 24 hours at room temperature. Strain the liquid without pressing the ginger for 5 minutes. Your liquid yield should be anywhere from 2/3 to almost 1 cup. Discard the ginger and pour the liquid into a small saucepan. Add the sugar. Stir over high heat until it comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Cool completely. Pour into a glass jar and cover. Refrigerate. Store for several months. Makes about 1 1/2 cups (if using 1 cup sugar).

dark and stormy cocktail
from Shub and Co.

ice
2 oz. dark rum
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. ginger shrub
3-4 oz. club soda
lime for garnish

Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour the dark rum, lime juice, and ginger shrub into the glass. Top with club soda. Stir. Garnish with lime. Makes 1 cocktail.


more goodness from the use real butter archives

ginger limeade strawberry shrub peach shrub huck gin fizz cocktail

12 nibbles at “stormy and awesome”

  1. Kristin says:

    I will have to mark this one to try with my ginger loving child, who is a ginger beer fan. The ginger beer part…she says she’s taken too much chemistry to ever be a drinker.

  2. Lisa says:

    It looks wonderful for a winter indoor drink. I think I will try to make it when Da Ko Ko comes in a couple of days. It will help her relax. Will let you know how it goes. xoxo

  3. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    I’m so making that drink this weekend!

    We got snow also! And we’re entering a stormy pattern again this weekend! Yeah! Water for the garden this summer! Snow for skiing!

  4. Susanne says:

    This is exactly what I need right now! Your timing is impeccable ❤️

  5. Jon says:

    Hello. I really like the photos you take of your recipes. I recently made the blood orange marmalade and added some home grown oranges to a couple of blood oranges, but unfortunately I cooked it a little too long. The taste is fabulous, but it came out more like candy. Hard to spread on toast, but great to eat! I am going to make the dark and stormy cocktail, but my rum of choice is Zaya. It’s a fantastically smooth testing rum, great to sip straight, but it also makes a wonderful mojito. Check it out and you may just find you never want to drink any other rum. To top it off, Costco sells it for about $22.

  6. Alison says:

    I love a good dark and stormy, with a good ginger kick. I’ve made a rhubarb shrub but never thought about a ginger one!

  7. The Sunday Dish says:

    […] I’ve been on a shrub kick recently, so I’m loving this Ginger Shrub Dark & Stormy Cocktail. […]

  8. jill says:

    The perfect wife…greeting him with a cocktail after a long RTD. Happy 18! xo, jill

  9. jenyu says:

    Kristin – I am also a huge ginger beer fan, so I think she might like this (sans alcohol – I get that too!) :)

    Lisa – xo

    Rocky Mountain Woman – :) YAY, SNOW!!! I think everyone in the mountains is rejoicing!

    Susanne – hooray!

    Jon – I don’t actually drink much if any alcohol, so I know very little about how to choose proper booze, but thank you for the tip! :)

    Alison – oooh, there are SO many different shrubs out there just waiting to be made (and tasted)!

    jill – ha ha! Thank you xo

  10. Where We’ve Been Drinking: Bearnaise for Brunch + Bardot Sling Cocktail Recipe | Roberts and June says:

    […] *Ginger Shrub Recipe from Use Real Butter […]

  11. A Bright and Sunny Ginger Shrub Cocktail - Make It Like a Man! says:

    […] In doing research for this recipe, I consulted Kitchen Riffs and stumbled onto a recipe from Use Real Butter – yeah Use Real Butter = both of which I found to be […]

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Can you use shrub in a hot drink like coffee or is it only for cold drinks

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