Daisy’s Dock – A Seriously Green Mocktail

a green drink in a clear glass with juicy condensation running down. All on a silver platter just for you, dahling.
Never enough green, never!

I don’t know if there are any books in the English language with more symbolism than The Great Gatsby, or maybe its just that I studied it one too many times. But when wracking my brain for a green-related name for this mocktail I remembered the green light “on all night” at the end of Daisy’s dock. The one that Gatsby stretches his trembling arms toward if I recall correctly.

At any rate this is a super delish and refreshing mocktail for hot summer days, and having had one, you will no doubt stretch your trembling arms toward more (more! always more!). OK, I’ll stop now. But seriously, good drink.

Daisy’s Dock – the Recipe

  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 5- 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 oz Some Serious Green (fennel – celery) Shrub (recipe)
  • 6 oz fresh cucumber juice
  • soda or sparkling water
  • juice of half a lime

Muddle the mint and sugar in the bottom of a small pitcher or shaker.

Add the Shrub and the cucumber and lime juices.

Pour over ice into 2 glasses, top with soda.

(Ooh remember the glasses in the Great Gatsby?)

Some Serious Green – a Fennel and Celery Shrub

a moody take on a fennel bulb and a celery bunch? what do you call a celery?
They look like they should be related, but they’re not.

Spring has sprung and so has the price of celery as health nuts everywhere (California) believe in its curative powers . One article I read said it owes its magic abilities to “unidentified polar substances” among other things. Nothing against health nuts, in fact I might be one, but for me the jury’s out til they identify those aforementioned polar substances.

Celery does taste great though, and adds a certain fresh peppery flavour if juiced. When mixed with the slightly exotic taste of fennel ( is it exotic? sort of, right? ) it makes for a lovely refreshing shrub soda. Check out Daisy’s Dock for its use in a mocktail with cucumber, lime and mint.

Some Serious Green – the Recipe

  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped fairly small (otherwise known as diced)
  • 1/2 cup fennel, diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mixed celery and fennel juice
  • 1/2 cup raw organic apple cider vinegar

In a medium bow, mix the diced celery, fennel and sugar. Pound the vegetables into the sugar to release the unidentified polar thingies. Cover and let sit on your counter for 24 hours.

In a large jar mix the fennel/celery juice and the lime/sugar mixture. Shake for as long as you can or until the sugar dissolves. Strain through a sieve to remove the veg.

Add the vinegar to the mixture and pour into a sterilised jar. Keep the closed jar in the fridge, letting it mellow for a few days before drinking ( I, gasp, don’t sterilise the jar, nor do I wait to drink it, but I don’t want to kill you ….so sterilise, be patient).

To drink, mix 1 oz of shrub to 8-10 oz of soda or cold water. Can add the sweetener of your choice if desired. Will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks. Makes about 8 oz of shrub, recipe can be multiplied for a crowd.

Diced celery and fennel mixed with sugar in a blue-patterned Chinese bowl
Release the polar thingies!

A Peeler by Definition – a Cucumber and Lime Shrub

A jar of cucumber lime shrub, taken from a low angle, to rather heroic effect.
I woke up in the middle of the night in horror, thinking “cucumbers… vinegar…..pickles! – shit!” but in fact it doesn’t taste like pickles so go back to sleep. It’s actually very refreshing.

A peeler in North America is a stripper. A peeler in England is a police officer. Oh the confusion! The potential jokes! (none of which I can come up with at the moment, but feel free to add in the comments below).

Either way, you’ll need a regular old kitchen peeler for this shrub recipe. I did try making it without peeling (the cucumbers) but this version renders a shrub with more clarity and freshness. I also tried to throw in some mint – both with the limes in the sugar and in the juice – meh. So peel on for a better tasting shrub, and add mint later if you like.

The Peeler by Definition Recipe

  • 3 limes, peeled with as little of the white stuff as possible
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cucumber juice (made from peeled and seeded cucumbers)
  • 1/2 cup raw organic apple cider vinegar

In a medium bow, mix the lime peels and sugar. Pound the peels in the sugar to release the oil from the peel. Cover and let sit on your counter for 24 hours.

In a large jar mix the cucumber juice and the lime/sugar mixture. Shake for as long as you can or until the sugar dissolves. Strain through a sieve to remove the peels.

Add the vinegar to the mixture and pour into a sterilised jar. Keep the closed jar in the fridge, letting it mellow for a few days before drinking ( I, gasp, don’t sterilise the jar, nor do I wait to drink it, but I don’t want to kill you ….so sterilise, be patient).

To drink, mix 1 oz of shrub to 8-10 oz of soda or cold water. Can add the sweetener of your choice if desired. Will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks. Makes about 8 oz of shrub, recipe can be multiplied for a crowd.

4 photos showing peeled limes, sugar pounding, peeled and seeded cucumbers and cucumber juice.

Bitter? Moi? A Lime Shrub

2 glasses of lime shrub - refreshing, not bitter!
To the people who told me limes are too bitter for a shrub: what did limes ever do to you?

So I had read and been told that limes were not a good fruit to make shrubs out of because the oil in the peel is bitter. “What’s a little bitter?” I asked myself and forged on. Well glad I did – this shrub is not bitter at all, and in fact is the best shrub I’ve made so far (I think, anyway). I had a hard time saving enough for the photo shoot. I did use organic apple cider vinegar, which is more mellow than some of the others I’ve tried.

The Recipe

  • 1 cup lime juice – I used 5 limes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest from the fruit you used for the juice (5 limes in this case)
  • 1 cup organic apple cider vinegar
  1. Juice the limes, refrigerate until required.
  2. Remove the zest from the limes, being careful to include as little pith (the white stuff) as possible.
  3. In a bowl, mix the sugar and zest and give it a thorough pounding to mix. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
  4. Mix the sugar and the vinegar, stir to dissolve the sugar.
  5. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth lined sieve into a sterilised glass jar or bottle (close with a sterilised lid). Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Give it a stir at least once a day.

Wait at least 4 days for it to mellow a bit, then drink by mixing the shrub with lots of soda or water over ice. A little goes a long way. You can add agave or honey to taste – start with 1 tsp and go from there. They say that the organic apple cider vinegar is good for you. (Not the same “they” that said limes don`t make good shrubs, thankfully)

O Dominatrix! A Citrus Shrub

two jars of citrus shrubs - one made with champagne vinegar (bright orange) and one made using red wine vinegar (a rusty red).

A shrub is a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and fruit or vegetables. Nothing stopping you from throwing in herbs. You can use any sort of vinegar, though most recipes call for organic if available. This stuff is intense. It’s a process. Be patient. DO NOT, as I did, laugh while drinking it straight – it will go down the wrong way, go up your nose, and generally slap you silly from the inside. MIX it, people, with soda water. Like 10 to 1, soda to shrub. You can also use it in a mixed mocktail, should you so desire.
There are about 50 ways to make a shrub, more or less divided into “hot process” or “cold process”. I went for cold with this one. It can be kept for about 3 weeks in the fridge, and takes a few days to 1 week to mellow. Mellow is used as a relative term here. Mixed with soda, it is extremely refreshing and tingly. Add agave to taste, it removes any remaining sharpness.

I tried 2 versions – using the same fruit and sugar quantities, I used Red Wine Vinegar for one batch and Champagne Vinegar for the other. Both are lovely, but the Champagne version is a lot brighter. I bought the cheap stuff and it seemed fine, although in further adventures I found raw organic apple cider vinegar to be the best. I used the fruit as listed below. The orange definitely dominated (hence the name), so you could switch them out for lemons or grapefruit if you prefer. I have seen warnings that limes are too bitter (because of the zest?) so of course I will try limes next and let you know!

O Dominatrix! Recipe

  • 1 cup citrus juice – I used 1 grapefruit, 2 oranges and 2 lemons.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest from the fruit you used for the juice
  • 1 cup vinegar
  1. Juice the fruit, refrigerate until required.
  2. Remove the zest from the fruit, being careful to include as little pith (the white stuff) as possible.
  3. In a bowl, mix the sugar and zest and give it a thorough pounding to mix. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours – 24 hours.
  4. Mix the sugar and the vinegar, stir to dissolve the sugar.
  5. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth lined sieve into a sterilised glass jar or bottle (close with a sterilised lid). Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Give it a stir at least once a day.

You can start drinking this right away if you like that sort of punishment, and of course you should try a little straight, just to say you did. Otherwise wait at least 4 days and mix it with lots of soda or water over ice. A little goes a long way – feel free to add agave or honey if it’s too sharp for you.

4 picture showing some of the steps in making O Dominatrix!, a citrus shrub.