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Cucumber, Soju, and Blueberry Shrub Cocktail

Photo: Annabelle Breakey
Total time 10 mins
Yield Serves 4
Refreshing vinegar-based drinks are very popular in Korea--and, curiously, they're a lot like "shrubs," the vinegar-spiked fruit drinks of colonial America that are having a revival. Both inspired this sweet-tart cocktail by Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, chef-owners of Joule and Revel restaurants in Seattle. It's good as a mocktail too, with club soda instead of soju.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 12 English cucumber sticks (about 3 in. long)
  • 2 cups (about 500 ml.) chilled Korean soju* or Japanese shochu
  • Club soda (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 343
  • caloriesfromfat 0.3 %
  • protein 0.3 g
  • fat 0.1 g
  • satfat 0.0 g
  • carbohydrate 29 g
  • fiber 0.9 g
  • sodium 1.2 mg
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg

How to Make It

  1. Make blueberry shrub: Bring vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in berries. Let cool, then chill airtight at least 4 hours and up to 1 week.

  2. Fill 4 tall glasses one-third full with ice; arrange cucumber sticks in them. Pour 1/2 cup soju into each, followed by 1/3 cup shrub (liquid and fruit). Taste, then add more shrub and a splash of club soda if you like.

  3. *A liquor traditionally made from rice, soju can also be distilled from wheat, barley, tapioca, and sweet potatoes. The Japanese style is generally smooth, clean, and subtle; the Korean tends to have a fuller, stronger flavor. Find it at well-stocked grocery stores and liquor stores.