Kicking off the new year with a brand new episode of Fuhmentaboudit!, hosts Chris Cuzme and Mary Izett take us through some exciting upcoming events in the fermenting world before welcoming author Michael Dietsch to the program to talk about shrubs. What’s a drinkable shrub? The term refers to a cocktail or soft drink that was popular during America’s colonial era, made by mixing a vinegared syrup with spirits, water, or carbonated water. A shrub can also be applied to the sweetened vinegar-based syrup, from which the cocktail is made; the syrup is also known as drinking vinegar. Michael takes Chris and Mary through the history of shrubs and common ingredients, as revealed in his book “Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times,” are as fascinating as the drinks are refreshing. After the break, Michael explains a few different techniques for making shrubs at home and tips for balancing the drink. He goes on to share exactly how shrubs can be used, whether that be as a mixer or as a nonalcoholic beverage. Looking for a unique drink for 2015? Tune in to hear all about it! This program was sponsored by

“The nice thing about shrub making is that it’s very versatile. You can go a variety of directions with it depending on your palate and ingredients you’re working with.” [17:00]

“Apple cider vinegar tens to be my work horse these days… it will pair with almost anything.” [20:50]

Michael Dietsch on Fuhmentaboudit!