I came up with this cocktail in the boring month of January when everyone is worried about New Year’s resolutions and staying out of the bar. We accidentally picked up a bag of Cara Caras instead of our usual Navel oranges, and I became completely obsessed with them. They have such a bright, saturated color and a perfect bit of a grapefruit flavor to them. They’re my favorite orange.
During my Cara Cara Craze, the best thing I came up with is this Cara Cara Shrub. The main flavor that comes through is the bittersweet Cara Cara, followed by the earthy rosemary and bright white wine vinegar. The demerara sugar ties it all together and grounds the whole flavor profile with a rich sweetness.
Cara Cara Shrub
- 3 Cara Cara oranges, chopped
- 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- I cup demerara sugar
- 1.5 cups white wine vinegar
Combine the oranges, rosemary, and sugar in a nonreactive container with a lid. Shake it up and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you’ll see that the sugar has pulled the juice out of the oranges and there’s a syrupy liquid in the bottom of the jar.
Add the vinegar to the rest of the ingredients in the jar and shake or stir until all the sugar is dissolved.
Cover and store in a cool, dry place for one week.
1 WEEK LATER
Strain out the solids and keep the finished shrub in the fridge for up to one month.
This Cara Cara Shrub has a ton of sunny citrus and zing, but it has the cozy rosemary and brown sugar that make it work in the cold weather months too. This duality of flavors is the perfect mood for February – or November – in Ohio. The sun is warm when it comes out, but it still snows all the time.
Use this shrub to make a nonalcoholic cocktail by adding it to iced tea or ginger ale with some fresh citrus juice. Mix it with olive oil, salt, and pepper for an herbal salad dressing. Splash it in a Paloma or a mezcal margarita, or use it to make one of my original cocktails, Sweater Weather.
- 2 ounces of Tanquery gin
- 1 ounce of Cara Cara Shrub
- ¾ ounce of Cointreau
- ¼ ounce dry vermouth
- Chill a martini glass and rinse it with the dry vermouth.
- Stir the rest of the ingredients together over ice and strain the liquid into the chilled glass.
- Garnish with fresh rosemary or a Cara Cara slice.
This cocktail is named after not only the best type of weather but also the song by The Neighbourhood. You should check it out. Cheers!