Cucumber, Soju, and Blueberry Shrub Cocktail

Photo: Annabelle Breakey

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.

Yield: Serves 4
Total:
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 10 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 343
  • Calories from fat: 0.3%
  • Protein: 0.3g
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Saturated fat: 0.0g
  • Carbohydrate: 29g
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Sodium: 1.2mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg

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)

Preparation

  1. 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. 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.
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