Shrubs: The Book

My first book, Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times, is arriving in bookstores as I type this.

For media inquiries, please contact Jill Browning PR at JillBrowningPR AT gmail DOT com.

For other inquiries, please contact Vicky Bijur Literary Agency at vicky AT
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Several online booksellers are offering preorders, for those of you who want to be sure you’re among the first to read it:

This is what my publisher has to say about it:


Raise your glass to a surprising new taste sensation for cocktails and sophisticated sodas: Shrubs. Not the kind that grow in the ground, but a vintage drink mixer that will knock your socks off. “Mixologists across the country are reaching back through the centuries to reclaim vinegar’s more palatable past . . . embracing it as ‘the other acid,’ an alternative to the same-old-same-old lemons and limes,” said the New York Times. The history of shrubs, as revealed here, is as fascinating as the drinks are refreshing. These sharp and tangy infusions are simple to make and use, as you’ll discover with these recipes. Mix up some Red Currant Shrub for a Vermouth Cassis, or Apple Cinnamon Shrub to mix with seltzer, or develop your own with Michael Dietsch’s directions and step-by-step photographs.


 

Powell’s said this:

Sometimes you think there is nothing new (food-wise) under the sun. Then a cookbook walks up and hits you in the face. Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times is such a cookbook. A shrub is a drink based on a macerated fruit or vegetable steeped in sugar and mixed with vinegar. Shrubs have a history hundreds of years old, but they have become almost extinct in America. Author Michael Dietsch includes a fascinating chapter on the history of this drink. About half of the recipes are alcohol free. The drinks are enticing: Fig-Cinnamon; Cherry-Mint, Meyer Lemon. The drink I’d most like to try first: Cranberry Sauce Shrub, with the unexpected ingredient of ginger. The photographs are lovely. Looking for the photographer’s credit, I find the author’s wife; Jennifer Hess was behind the camera. Dietsch goes on to explain that the photo shoots often included their eldest child unexpectedly getting into the camera’s view. I’d love to see some of the photo outtakes!


Ed Levine, the founder of Seriouseats.com, says:

Michael Dietsch’s Shrubs is the perfect introduction to a centuries-old, seriously versatile syrup made up of fruit, vinegar, sugar, and water.   Equal part history, recipes, and lovely writing, Shrubs will have you whipping up virgin and alcoholic shrub-based concoctions with equal aplomb. You won’t be able to read through the book without getting up to make a Desmond Dacquiri for yourself,  using Jamaican Rum (it’s named after the Jamaican ska and reggae pioneer Desmond Dekker); Dietsch’s recipe for plum, peppercorn, and Bay Leaf shrub; and lime juice,  or the perfect lemon-lime rickey for your kids. We should all raise a glass to Shrubs, a book that is both a thirst-quenching read and incredibly useful.

Brad Thomas Parsons, author of Bitters, said this:

Shot through with history and formulas for making your own seasonal shrubs, Michael Dietsch’s excellent debut serves as a year-round resource for cocktail geeks and DIY enthusiasts looking to take their farmers’ market finds to the next level. Transform sweet and savory ingredients into a rainbow of inventive of flavor combinations that are perfect for sipping on their own, as the base of enlightened homemade soda, or as a key component in a refreshing cocktail.

Wayne Curtis, who wrote And a Bottle of Rum, said this:

Michael Dietsch has poked a pinhole in the past, and from this has projected the whole curious enterprise of drinkable vinegars in an enchanting light. Who would have thought spoiled wine or cider could taste so good?

Paul Clarke, the executive editor of Imbibe, wrote this little ditty:

Shrubs have been a tangy-sweet part of our liquid culture for centuries, and with Shrubs, Michael Dietsch brings this historic beverage into the Internet age. From berry-bright shrubs that spark nonalcoholic refreshers to life, to spicy and savory mixtures destined for the cocktail shaker, Dietsch gives us plenty of reasons to dig into this long-overlooked realm of drinks.


Eater named Shrubs one of the 43 most anticipated cookbooks of Fall 2014.

Food Republic named Shrubs to its fall cookbook preview, saying …

We’ve recently become enamored with shrubs, the vinegar-based vintage drink mixers that are making a comeback in bars nationwide. A more complex alternative to the same-old lemon or lime twists, shrubs provide a naturally fruity, tangy kick to sodas and cocktails. In addition to a number of classic and creative infusion recipes, the book contains a detailed history of shrubs and step-by-step photography.


I talked to the aforementioned Paul Clarke about shrubs for the September/October 2014 issue of Imbibe. The article isn’t online, so seek out a print copy.

I also spoke to Kara Newman at Tasting Table about shrubs. Check it out!

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