Chow Town

Shrubs make for evergreen entertaining and gift-giving

The Smoked Spice Pear shrub is perfect for hot toddies.
The Smoked Spice Pear shrub is perfect for hot toddies.

Kansas City Canning Co.’s shrubs look like a party — or at least an intimate soiree — in a bottle.

Shrubs — preserved fruit syrups — come in vibrant and alluring hues. During the holidays, shrubs make for great gift-giving and entertaining. They’re the perfect pairings for craft cocktails and nonalcoholic sodas — just add spirits or sparkling water.

“Shrubs are fun to experiment with when you get together with family and friends,” said Laura Tuohy, who with her husband, Tim, founded Kansas City Canning Co. The business turned 2 on Black Friday and makes pickles and jellies in addition to seven kinds of shrubs.

For winter and autumn, Tuohy recommends the Apple Caraway (a 2016 Good Food Awards finalist) and Smoked Spice Pear shrubs for hot toddies. Recipes can be found on the bottles along with the shrub ingredients. For example, the Blood Orange Ginger Shrub — good for Moscow Mules — is made from blood oranges, red wine vinegar, sugar, ginger and salt.

The 16-ounce bottles of shrubs are $16 each and can be found at both Better Cheddar locations, Urban Provisions and Made in KC stores.

Beet & Lowdown

Makes 1 drink

1 1/2 ounces rye whiskey

1 ounce Kansas City Canning Co. Beet Tarragon Shrub

1/2 ounce orange juice

1/2 ounce lemon juice

Fresh tarragon

Combine rye whiskey, shrub and citrus juices in a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain in a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with fresh tarragon.

From Kansas City Canning Co.