Model 2100 with optional 15˚ Module
At Rocco’s in Seattle, bar manager Leroy Thomas offers a
“build your own cocktail” option. “Patrons select a shrub,
which comes in a 125-milliliter portion, and a spirit presented
in a shot glass. They arrive on a relish tray with a little bottle
of soda water. They can use as much or as little of each as they
choose.” The approach, says Thomas, who’s been doing it for
two and half years, has been well received.
He and his staff will make recommendations about what
goes with what, if asked. Typically, there are three different
shrubs available at any time. His salmonberry, blackberry and
huckleberry shrubs are seasonal, and people come just for them.
“It’s our special thing, and that gives us an edge, gives people
a reason to be here,” Thomas says. He has been experimenting
with quince and persimmon shrubs, working in unusual, unexpected
elements such as paprika or coffee.
Thomas’ guiding philosophy for how to attract and hang
on to his customers is, “Keep it tasty. Keep it simple. Keep it
weird.” Shrubs fit the bill.
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From Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink
for Modern Times (Countryman Press,
2014), by Michael Dietsch
1 lb. Sungold tomatoes, halved
½ cup turbinado sugar
15-20 (about ½ oz.) basil leaves,
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1) Put tomatoes and sugar in bowl; stir
to combine. Cover with plastic wrap;
refrigerate for up to two days.
2) Put basil leaves in nonreactive
container; cover with cider vinegar. Store
in cool, dark place for up to two days.
3) Combine tomato/sugar mixture, any
accumulated liquid and basil/vinegar
mixture in large glass jar. Cap; shake well
to combine. Refrigerate for one week.
4) Strain off solids, reserving liquid.
Discard solids. Bottle liquid.