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Cabin Fever Cuisine: What to eat when Mother Nature has whipped you into submission

CabinFeverThis winter hasn’t been all that bad. It’s merely worse than most of us have ever experienced. (That’s what I keep telling myself.)

All we need are some tips and pep talks. And that’s what we’re about to deliver, straight from the forks and mouths of caterers, cooks, and our own shrub kitchen.

Interested? Keep checking in. We’ll try to color your world and give you inspiration no matter how much more white stuff intrudes upon our realm.

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Marching your way…An army of mini-shrubs

MiniShrubsBy popular demand, we’re rolling out our brand new Spiker’s Shrubs Mini Sampler. A four-pack of some of our most popular flavors, bundled together in sweet little 1.8oz nip-size bottles.

Overhead, they almost look like candy. But their tart and fruity essence is nothing like candy. Try them in your favorite cocktails, including Prosecco or Champagne (or seltzer/mineral water for an alcohol-free indulgence). Or splash them over your favorite salad tossed with toasted nuts, artisan greens, chevre, and fruit.

Mini shrubs are on the way. Get them now at Shubie’s and Tendercrop Farm, or online.


Chocolate Raspberry Shrub Martini

Chocolate and raspberry are a marriage made in heaven. In this martini, a splash of Spiker’s Raspberry Bergamot Shrub balances the notes of a chocolate-infused vodka without being cloyingly sweet. Although we don’t ordinarily care for flavored spirits, we make an exception here because the vanilla notes of the vodka provide a richer overall taste. If desired, you can use a regular vodka instead.


Carrot Slaw with Sweet-Tart Shrub Dressing

No fancy chef skills required here. Just grate or shred fresh carrots, then toss with a dressing featuring the delightful tang of our Ginger Bite Shrub paired with olive oil, cider vinegar, celery seeds, salt, pepper, and minced garlic. At serving time, add a generous sprinkle of chopped sunflower and sesame seeds to provide a delightful crunch.

NOTE: This slaw tastes even better the day after. Don’t limit it to a side dish, either. Slap this onto a bun with some pulled pork barbecue and you will be in heaven.

Lillet Shrub Sparker

This festive cocktail marries gin, Lillet Blanc, and Prosecco to create an elegant cocktail with a blushing rosey glow. Color courtesy of a blend of Spiker’s Shrubs. We think our Crangerine is a perfect match for the Lillet Blanc, but our Pineapple Basil would be an excellent change-up.

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Shrub love at Shubie’s Love Fest on Feb. 7

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 4.55.21 PMThere isn’t anything at Shubie’s you couldn’t love. But on February 7, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Spiker’s will join in the Shubie’s Love Fest to inspire customers with ideas for February 14 celebrations. After an afternoon of sipping and sampling, you’ll find even more ways to love this trend-setting Marblehead foodie destination.

Stop by to taste our flavorful, all-natural fruit infusions for mixing with cocktails and mocktails, and pick up our new sampler pack featuring four of our most popular flavors. We’ll share tips for how to mix romantic cocktails, elegant mocktails, and delicious salads, sauces, and desserts (including our Sour Cherry Black Velvet Dump Cake) using Spiker’s Shrubs.

Just a few ideas for how to use Spiker’s Shrubs in dishes you’ll love:

  • Splash in champagne or prosecco for a fruity, colorful, fizzy sip.
  • Whip up a chocolate martini with a touch of our new Very Strawberry shrub.
  • Drizzle over a plate of artisan cheese (and boy, does Shubie’s know a thing or two about cheese!).
  • Make a batch of shrub-glazed nuts for a salad or roasted sweet potato.
  • Finish off a pan of filet mignon for two with a pan sauce of shrub, shallots, and red wine.
  • Enjoy a light, alcohol-free spritzer at the end of the evening and get your second wind.

Get details and directions to Shubie’s here.

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Coming Soon: The Mini-Shrub Sampler

ShrubsInARowBy popular demand, we’re ready to roll out a new product: The Mini-Shrub Sampler. Our collection of nip-sized shrubs will give you a chance to sip and savor all of our flavors and decide which ones you like the most. (We hope you’ll love them all!) Want to know more? Use our contact form to be put on the Mini-Shrub release list. We’ll share the delivery date as soon as we get the ultrasound.

Check our flavors list and let us know which ones you love or are intrigued by. Or if you have a flavor passion we haven’t yet tapped, let us know what you’re leaning toward.


Carrie Bradshaw, meet Terry Bradshaw

The Cosmopolitan (and variations thereof) has been around since the early 1900s, but the drink earned its star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame when Sex and the City ran on TV during the 1990s. It was Carrie Bradshaw’s drink.

I don’t know anything about Carrie Bradshaw. But I do know who Terry Bradshaw is. And I know that the Patriots are in a major football playoff game on Sunday, January 18. So as a tip of the hat to sports, mixology, and New England team spirit, we introduce the CosmoShrubitan … a lower-proof version of the original thanks to swapping Spiker’s Tuscan Tangerine Shrub for the traditional (and authentic) Cointreau. Instead of cranberry juice, a splash of Spiker’s Sour Cherry Plum Shrub does the trick.

If you’re hosting a playoff party, this cocktail can be doubled, tripled, etc. and made in advance. Chill in the fridge, put the glasses in the freezer, and enjoy. Then — in the words of Aaron Rodgers — relax.


Bourbon Cherry Cola

Feeling a bit nostalgic for the old days, even if you weren’t alive back then to enjoy them?

Our Bourbon Cherry Cola cocktail has a bit of mid-century magic to it. The rich amber of an aged bourbon, the russet hue of Spiker’s Sour Cherry Plum shrub, and the mahogany color of cola combine to make a gorgeous, fizzy beverage.