It’s spring! The season of growth, renewal, and new beginnings is upon us, and that feels reason enough to celebrate. Flowers are bursting into blossom, gardens are beginning to poke tentative shoots forth into the warmer air, and everything is alive with green.
It’s also the four year anniversary of Shrub Farm. Four years ago, Shrub Farm was just a twinkle in our eye. We took a life-changing trip to Japan, where we tasted Tomo’s mom’s shrub, made with blueberries from her yard. It was refreshing, delicious, and left us with a creative spark that we took back to Maui.
We began experimenting with the fruit we found around our home in Haiku. Josh would head into the jungle and come back with armfuls of wild guavas, which would then go into batches of shrub.
We started with sixty bottles ordered online and labels from the office store printed at home. What began all those years ago in Japan and took flight in Maui has become our life’s work and passion.
It brings us so much joy to see your reactions when you try our shrub — we really do it all to see you smile.
So we’ve made you a little cocktail that embodies the best of this season. We love a good gin and tonic around here (also — April 9 is International Gin and Tonic Day! Yet another reason to whip one up). It’s classic, refreshing, and welcomes in spring with its botanical notes and crisp flavor. It’s the perfect companion for at-home gardening work, a virtual happy hour with your friends, or a little pre-dinner aperitif. And while a traditional G + T never goes amiss, we think that adding some of our Shiso and Citrus Shrub takes this drink to the next level.
Shiso is a Japanese herb that’s part of the mint family. It has a berry-like flavor and is packed with antioxidants, which makes it a delicious and healthy addition to any drink. Shiso also has a special place in Shrub Farm’s heart. Our original shrub recipe was born on a trip to Japan, yet the shiso we harvest is as local as it gets.
We love working with Rabbits Field Farm in Mount Vernon, WA. Our farmer friend Roslyn grows the freshest organic produce around, and she generously keeps a patch of bright purple shiso for us to harvest. It’s a beautiful treat to be able to spend an afternoon picking shiso beneath Mount Baker, knowing that what we gather will go directly into our shrub (which, in turn, will go directly to you!). That’s why our Shiso and Citrus Shrub truly has a global soul with hometown roots.
So pour yourself a Gin and Shiso and Tonic — best enjoyed beneath a blossoming cherry tree, but a porch will certainly suffice!