Got Shrub?

What is Shrub? The word Shrub comes from the Arabic word sharab, which literally means to drink. In the dictionary, Shrub is defined as an acid fruit drink.

Good Stuff Pick: Fruit shrubs are based on Colonial era recipes and are drink concentrates made with fresh fruit vinegars, organic unbleached cane sugar and spices. They can be mixed with sparkling water (1 part Shrub to 8 parts water) to make festive non-alcoholic drinks, also to flavor wine and champagne. Just as refreshing to serve for a brunch or a festive backyard BBQ, like my Fresh Squeezed Mimosa.

Today's refreshing beverage is perfect for a steamy hot day, like today. Cheers!

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George's Berry Shrub Fiz

Makes 4 servings

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1/3 cup fresh lime juice + 1 lime sliced thin

1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled

4 cups de-seeded watermelon + 1 cup of melon balls for garnish

2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar, variable depending on how sweet the berries are & how tart/ sweet you like it.

1/2 cup ice, shaved or cubes 

1/4 cup seltzer per glass + sprig of fresh mint

In a blender, blend the lime juice, watermelon, berries with juice, sugar, ice cubes until slushy. Serve in a tall glass filled with ice; pour 3/4 of a glass with fruit juice and top off with seltzer.

*To Spike: You can add 1/2 ounce of vodka, Or rum, Or tequila to each glass over the ice.

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Ramping Up!

A ramp is one of the first green veggies to sprout-up in springtime. It is aka wild leek or spring onion; fitting, since it adds a sweet onion + bit of garlicky flavor to a variety of dishes. Add ramps to pep-up a dish; ideal for soups, eggs, potatoes, and seafood. One of my favorite ways to prepare ramp is grilled, which brings out its natural sweetness. Ideal served atop a grilled pizza.  

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The how-to is simple; Grilled Ramp: After cutting off stem-end, wash whole ramps and dry. Drizzle olive oil over the white and greens, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill on a high heat until lightly charred. Cool, then place on pizza before baking as you would add any topping. 

No time to make the dough? Then, top with my easy Nann style flatbread pizza recipe with grilled ramps. But, I encourage you to make time and toss the dough my flatbread pizzas as seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle TV series.

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Grilled Three-Cheese Naan Pizza

Makes four appetizer servings 

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1 pre-baked Naan Bread Crust

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola

1/2 cup goat cheese or feta

6 fresh basil leaves, lightly torn

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Pre heat grill to medium or an oven to 400 degrees F.

Brush Naan on both sides with olive oil. Top Naan on one side with cheeses leaving a half-inch border around crust. Place Naan on grill top shelf or bake on a pizza pan for about five minutes until crust is crisp and cheese is melted. Remove top with fresh basil and pepper, serve immediately.

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Classic Champagne Cocktail

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George Hirsch Lifestyle Champagne Cocoktail

Its almost time to toast- Happy New Year!

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Champagne is recognized as the universal symbol of good news, and this cocktail's simple recipe shows that life doesn't have to be complicated to be enjoyed. A classic Champagne Cocktail may not be as trendy a drink these days, but as a classic, it’s as good as when Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr sipped it in An Affair To Remember. 

Recipe: Six ounces of champagne and a sugar cube soaked in Angostura bitters is all it takes to make a sophisticated cocktail for the New Year. Drop the sugar cube into a tall flute glass, and then slowly add champagne and a lemon twist. 

Tips: With the Champagne Cocktail, you can trust the bitters to take the edge off a lesser quality champagne or sparkling wine. For this drink, you can use a lesser expensive wine spending about $10 to $18 for a good domestic bottle. Or, as I personally prefer to use a good Prosecco.

It is often remarked that Auld Lang Syne is one of the most popular songs that nobody knows the lyrics to. "Auld Lang Syne" literally translates as "old long since" and means "times gone by."

As we say goodbye to 2018, I wish you all the best for a great 2019! 

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