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Mixing cocktails up in Mudgee

Meet Clîtie Murdoch who’s putting a tasty fashionable spin on cocktails with her unique mixers of shrubs



THE SHORT STORY

  • Shrub is a drinking vinegar syrup

  • They're perfect for mixing in cocktails and soda drinks for a gorgeous flavour

  • Clîtie is making them in Mudgee from regionally sourced 100% Aussie fruit

  • Buy them online at https://www.wellsteadshrubs.com/

Cocktails are back in style. With the sprouting of boutique Aussie distilleries around the country, we’re being encouraged to sip our way to sophistication.


But what about the mixers that make cocktails sparkle in flavour?


Introducing shrubs – fruit infusion drink mixers


Clîtie Murdoch of Wellstead Shrubs is mixing up the way we enjoy cocktails, producing shrub in her micro handcrafted batch operation in Mudgee.


We’re not talking about shrub mixers being made from low growing native bushes.


Shrubs are an acidic but sweet fruit syrup, much like bitters. They’re also known as drinking vinegar but we’d have to say it sounds much better being described as a drink mixer.


Shrub making isn’t new. It has its origins in 17th century England and was taken to colonial America where it became popular. It was a way of preserving berries and other fruits for the off season.


The typical 19th century recipe for shrub was made by pouring vinegar over fruit — traditionally berries, and left to infuse anywhere from overnight up to several days. The fruit was then strained out and the remaining liquid is usually mixed with a sweetener such as sugar or honey and then reduced to make a syrup.


Today it’s making its comeback in the hip urban bars of the US and Canada.


An award-winning recipe from Aussie fruits


Making shrub isn’t new for Clîtie. She started producing her own 14 years ago when she couldn’t find any.


After her friends tasted her shrubs, they wanted some too. Now with growing demand, Clîtie is expanding and making more batches every year.


Her award-winning Wellstead Shrubs Raspberry Shrub looks very sophisticated in its chic hipsteresque bottle.


Wellstead Shrubs also come in a selection of flavours such as Blood Orange, Plum along with a Strawberry and Lime number.


Clîtie sources her fruits fresh from Westerway Raspberry Farm in Orange, Redbelly Oranges in Griffith and passionfruit from Queensland.


Best served with friends


The acidity of Shrub makes it well suited as an aperitif or used as an alternative to bitters in cocktails. Unlike cocktails acidulated with citrus, vinegar-based drinks will remain clear when shaken.


Wellstead Shrubs mix harmoniously in a cocktail and are just as refreshing in soda too. They're perfect to add to your afternoon sundowners or a girls get-together. Clîtie has recipes on her website to inspire you.


Paddocks&Plates were lucky enough to taste a sample when we met Clîtie at a food and drink conference in Sydney.


Our tipple was straight from the bottle. It was very much like a grown ups cordial. It’s sweet and syrupy but with the little sharpness of vinegar, that gave it a delicious edgy kick. We can’t wait to try it in soda or cocktails.


It’s fantastic to see a young regional entrepreneur putting her own spin on a drink that’s been around for centuries.


Here’s cheers to Clîtie and Wellstead Shrubs!


For more details and purchases visit https://www.wellsteadshrubs.com/


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