A couple of years ago I noticed what I thought were wild raspberries growing in the park near my house. Upon closer inspection I realized they weren’t growing from the ground and were actually growing from a tree. that tree was a Mulberry tree. Unfortunately I went on vacation shortly after that and missed out on picking any of the mulberries. The next year the same thing happened to me and the birds got all the berries before I could.
I was determined to not let that happen again so I have been going down and checking the tree frequently. Then I went to California for a week and I was certain that I was going to miss it once again. The morning that I got back from vacation I went right to the park and was pleased to see that there were still plenty of Mulberries to be had.
I already knew what I was going to do with them once I got some. I have been envisioning a mulberry themed cocktail since the first time I laid eyes on the tree. I picked just over a cup of berries and went home to make a mulberry shrub. the shrub is vey simple to make, It was 1 1/2 cup of mulberries, juice of 3 lemons, and a 1/3 cup of maple sugar. Heat that over medium heat until the berries breakdown and the sugar is dissolved. The strain through a fine mesh strainer. That is all it is. That shrub then can be used to top your favorite ice cream or stir into yogurt. Or you can make a tasty and refreshing cocktail.
I am a huge fan of rum and happened to have a small bottle of Appleton’s rum sitting out on the counter to I can it a try. The rum version was good but it didn’t seem to be the right combination and the rum over powered the mulberry. My wife wanted me to try it with vodka so I did and again it was very good but seem to be missing something. So I tried it with Gin and found what I was missing. When I went to take pictures of the drink I have an herb box with basil in it sitting just to the right so I through a lemon basil leaf on top just to add color . Oddly the lemon basil really rounded out the cocktail and added a little herbal aroma to the drink as you sipped it.
Mulberry Shrub Cocktail
2 ounces Gin, (vodka or rum)
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce Mulberry Shrub
1 dropper full of Bitter cube Jamaica #1 bitters
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously for 30 seconds, top with a lemon basil leaf and enjoy.