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March marks that transition period in the seasons where spring is in sight and winter's chill is starting to fall behind. While baby vegetables are starting to pop up, the last crops of winter citrus and a bounty of hardy winter herbs are still hanging around.
We're ready for sun (and strawberries) but winter's tangelos and rosemary are still worth savoring. My preferred method of preservation: the shrub. We've chatted a bit about shrubs before, but wanted to offer another take that shifts the emphasis away from fruit flavors and towards the woodsy nature of rosemary. Mild, sweet tangelo is the sidekick here, and the result is tangy and herbal.
While the ingredient list to make a shrub is pretty simple (just 4 ingredients), the resulting flavors are spectacular and intense. As the ingredients sit and mingle, the vinegar will mellow and the flavors will change, and you'll need to a bit of tasting along the way. At the 3 day mark, the flavors were too separate for my taste and I found the vinegar was singing too strongly. Let it sit for a few more days, though, and intensity of the tart vinegar subsides just enough to let the rosemary stand out and the tangelo shine through.
Try this sweet-sour shrub with sparkling water...a jigger of gin is an optional addition.
About the Author: Elana Lepkowski is a Los Angeles based mixologist who photographs and shares her cocktail recipes at StirAndStrain.com. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter as @stirandstrain documenting what she drank last night and occasionally a picture of her dog.