Sunday, October 17th is the 10 Annual International Pickle Day. 10,000 pickle mavens and food fiends come out for this great event celebrating the iconic pickle and all the variations of pickled foods you could possible think of. Considering that pickling is one of the oldest means of food preservation, it is no surprise that from Joel Russ’s pushcart to today, Russ & Daughters has been home to a plethora of pickled delicacies, from Pickled Lox, to Pickled Herring in all different kinds of sauces, Pickled Beet, Apple & Herring Salad, Pickled Tomatoes, and, of course, the classic Sour and Half-Sour Pickles from the barrel. This year, at the Russ & Daughters Pickle Day table, we’ll be celebrating pickles in beverage form. That’s right. We’ll be serving one of our newest creations that has become an instant classic: The Russ & Daughters Beet & Lemon Shrub.
Now two questions have most likely come to mind: Aside from being a small tree, what is a shrub? And what does this have to do with pickles?
“Shrub” is the name for a very old-style drink in which a dash of vinegar is added to a fruit juice to bring out its flavor, creating a particularly refreshing taste. We know that it was common in Colonial America, and some have claimed that it was enjoyed in Roman times. Shrubs can be made with any kind of fruit, most commonly berries, or roots like ginger. At Russ & Daughters, we make our shrub with our house-cured (aka pickled) beets and fresh lemons.
If the sound of this amazing drink wasn’t enticing enough, it turns out that beets are something of a miracle food. Studies have confirmed what long-distance runners and extreme athletes had already known: drinking beet juice increases stamina and can help you exercise for up to 16% longer. But physical exertion is no requirement either. For the mixologist enthusiasts out there: just add gin, vodka, or seltzer to our shrub for a knock-out cocktail.
So join us on Sunday at Pickle Day or, as always, in the shop. Joel Russ may not have sold shrubs from his pickle barrels, but with one taste, we know he would have approved.
- Niki Russ Federman
10th Annual International Pickle Day
Sunday, October 17th
11:00 am- 4:30 pm
At the parking lot on Broome Street (btw Essex and Ludlow)