THE LITTLE KISS
With Valentine's Day just around the corner we found the perfect cocktail to compliment your special date night! This drink combines all things romance in one little glass and we promise your sweetheart will love it. When you think about Valentine's Day you can't help but think of chocolate dipped strawberries, right? And if you live on Jasmine, you know we are always ready for some bubbly. This drink has both and we are going to show you how to make it and impress your better half.
This semi sweet drink from Talmadge Lowe, beverage director at the Hospitality Collective includes a strawberry shrub (are you just as confused as we were?!) in addition to the crème de cacao and champagne to balance the sweetness. A shrub is a vintage mixer that usually combines a plant/fruit, sugar and vinegar. They offer acidity to a drink and can cut the sweetness, in this case, from the crème de cacao. Making a shrub was a first for us, but not difficult at all and well worth the little bit of time it took to whip it up. Honestly, the longest part of the process is allowing it to chill so no worries at all on a difficulty scale!
Are you familiar with shrubs or using them in drinks? Like we said, it was a first for us, but to give you a little background on them...the American version of the shrub has its origins in 17th century England where vinegar was used as an alternative to citrus juices to preserve berries and other fruits for the off season. Flash forward to current times where these mixtures are used to compliment a cocktail or non-alcoholic soft drink. We made a strawberry shrub for this drink but you can use almost any fruit, vegetable or herb to make a shrub. So that is your history/home economics lesson for today, we hope you learned a little something ☺️
After a quick trip to the local grocery store we had everything we needed to get started. While we do love to shop small and use all of the farms around us for our fruits and veggies, it's February in Pennsylvania and we were not able to get fresh strawberries but they did have some nice ones at the store so we grabbed them and ran! In terms of making the shrub, it is an easy process. Almost like making a simple syrup with just a few tweaks. You will want to start with the shrub because the longer it chills the better. It calls for overnight - if possible, so you will want to keep that in mind for your Valentine prep!
10 ounces water
4 ounces white vinegar
12 ounces sugar
10 strawberries - hulled and halved
Add 10 ounces of water, 4 ounces of vinegar, 12 ounces of sugar and 10 strawberries into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves completely. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Next you will mash/muddle the strawberries with a fork or muddler. Then you will strain and refrigerate, again, overnight if possible, but a couple hours will do too!
Once the shrub has chilled you are ready to get started. You will want to make this drink to order and not really ahead of time. If you are headed out for a night on the town with your sweetie definitely pre-game with this drink, whip one up and surprise them as you are waiting for the Uber! Having dinner at home? Even better you can have a few! We also would not recommend making this into a batch cocktail - the smaller the better!
The Little Kiss Ingredients
1/4 ounce crème de cacao
1/4 ounce strawberry shrub
3 ounces champagne
Optional strawberry garnish
Add strawberry shrub and crème de cacao into a chilled champagne flute. Slowly pour in champagne (you don't want an overflow...pour slowly ladies). Garnish with your strawberry!
So a few things about this drink...when we made it we found that we played around a little bit with the amounts of the crème de cacao just depending on each person's preference. Some liked it a little more on the chocolate side, some preferred a stronger strawberry taste. Either way the drink was delicious from the start and after they were "made to order" for round two. Also we used a Prosecco vs champagne because we like the taste but again this is a personal preference and you can tailor to your taste buds!
The verdict is in on this drink and it was definitely a win! Give it a try and let us know what you think!