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Even with fall in full swing, menus are changing faster than our unusually warm weather. The Oca d’Oro is known for its Italian-inspired artisan dishes, as well as its specialty craft cocktails, curated wine, and even a selection of low and no ABV drinks. It’s the time of the season to love change – and apples equal fall.
The wizards behind the bar employ the same dedication to seasonal ingredients as the kitchen, and pairing considerations are made for the ever-changing menu. Where summer once boasted of watermelon and light delicacies, now it’s the flavors that pair beautifully with hearty entrees and sweaters. “Mocktails are something we love to see, and just because there’s no alcohol doesn’t mean a drink shouldn’t be flavored. Shrubs are a great way to raise sustainably a drink,” said L’Oca d’Oro manager and bartender Mallory Valentine, who created this lovely apple cider shrub recipe. just for us. If the stars align, you might see it on the drink menu at this wonderful Mueller venue.
apple cider bush
1 ¼ cup grated or diced apples
The zest of a lemon
2 cinnamon sticks
3 stars of anise
1¼ cup turbinado sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
• In a mixing bowl, combine the apples, zest, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise and sugar. Mix well, cover loosely and let sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
• After 24 hours, add the apple cider vinegar and leave for another 24 hours.
• Use a net, cheesecloth or coffee filter to filter out shrubs.
• Combine 2 ounces of shrub with 6 ounces of sparkling water and ice. Or combine with 6 ounces of hot water for a toddy moment.
To note: You can make shrubs from any product. My favorite thing is to use leftovers as they are fridge stable and long lasting. The approximate ratio is about 2 parts fruit to 1 part sugar and 1 part vinegar. High water content products are easier to work with, but firmer products can be diced, processed or even pressed.