Shrub Drinks

Vinegar flavored drinks have a long history and can be found in cultures spanning the globe, from China to Britain.  But it was in America, where summers can be sweltering, that the drink truly came into its own. Shrubs, fruit- or vegetable-based drinks, could be found in places ranging from the rolling countryside of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to the blistering sun-swept prairies of the central states.The word “shrub” is derived from the Arabic sharbah, which means “a drink.” Nineteenth-century Americans frequently pointed to the Bible, citing passages that indicated that the ancient Israelites had used vinegar-based drinks to cool off.  Ruth, for example, was credited with sharing a vinegar-based drink while working in the fields of Boaz.

In America, shrubs were drunk not only in the fields but also in taverns, private homes, and simply out in the streets.  In early nineteenth-century Cambridge, Massachusetts, the drink was wildly popular with the students at Harvard probably because they followed in the tradition of college students everywhere by mixing alcohol into their drink.  After drinking shrubs with rum, students often staggered back to the university through the streets of Cambridge and Boston, happily intoxicated.
The growing nineteenth-century temperance movement saw non-alcoholic shrubs, typically made with vinegar, water, and molasses, as an excellent alternative to alcoholic drinks which, as one temperance writer solemnly noted “are particularly injurious in hot countries.”

Today, shrub drinks have begun to make a comeback and it is drunk in ways that would seem very familiar to our ancestors.  Its use as a base for a cocktail would, for example, undoubtedly please early nineteenth-century Harvard students although it would alarm those who saw non-alcoholic shrubs as a wonderful method of promoting temperance. But whether you add it to alcohol or not, enjoying a vinegar-based drink on a hot summer day is still as refreshing as it was in the eighteenth century.


Shrub 101

This recipe is so simple that there’s not even measuring amounts listed-

  1. Add equal parts of sugar and water to a saucepan, and heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add just enough berries or fruit to coat with the sugar sauce and simmer until the fruit’s juice blends well into the syrup.
  3. Let that mixture cool. Strain out the solids.
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar of your choice to the syrup, bottle it all up, and store in the fridge.
  5. Mix with seltzer water or club soda for a refreshing drink.
  6. Add alcohol like rum, vodka, gin to make things more interesting.
  7. Serve over ice and ENJOY!
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August- The Sunday of Summer


Oh August. You transitional time of year. Summer is coming to a close, fall is just around the corner, another school year is about to begin.  In honor of the kids going back to school (woo hoo!) or in mourning of another summer winding down, let’s talk about boozy fruits. It’s a new trend that has been sweeping the country. Fruit salad, popsicles, sangria, marmalade, all with a generous saturation of vodka, wine, tequila, or rum. That’s right. Multi-tasking adults have finally figured out a way to up their fruit intake and have fun doing it. Check out our website at for recipes and ideas.

We have twelve glorious balsamics on sale this month. 10% off

Six dark balsamics: Black Cherry, Blackberry Ginger, Pomegranate, Strawberry, Tangerine, Wild Blueberry

Six white balsamics: Blenheim Apricot, Ripe Peach, Coconut, Golden Pineapple, Gravenstein Apple, Lemon

And the ever popular Koroneiki Extra Virgin olive oil also 10% off!

For those who like to shop from the comfort of their couch, WE SHIP!





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blueberry bbq sauce


Due to the onset of the OPPRESSIVE heat here in Murphy’s this week, I decided to post a BBQ recipe. Because lets face it who wants to heat up the house any more making dinner? So here is a Blueberry Balsamic Steak Sauce recipe. Or omit the garlic and onions and use the sauce with ice cream!


2 tsp. Hojiblanca Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/2 red sweet onion, finely diced

3/4 cup Wild blueberry Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup molasses

4 cups fresh blueberries


Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and onion and cook, stirring often, until soft. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Increase heat and bring mixture to a low boil, cook about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 25 minutes. If reducing too quickly, turn the heat down or off.

Remove cover. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mash blueberries against the side of the pan to release juices. Increase heat to medium and cook until sauce reaches your preferred thickness, 6 to 8 minutes. Strain if desired and serve with steak.


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There’s a New Face in the Store!

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Catherine Bolton. I am the new in-house blogger for Marisolio Tasting Bar. I am a life-long resident of Calaveras county. I am a wife, a foodie (baking is my specialty). I like a good joke, love great music, and adore my children. I look forward to connecting with you and hope to see you soon at the Marisolio Tasting Bar in Murphys, CA.


The All-Natural Harissa Infused Olive Oil is Back! Most popular in North Africa and the Middle East, Harissa is made with chili peppers (often smoked), garlic, caraway, coriander and cumin, which are pounded into a paste and left overnight to develop its flavor. We’ve added more peppers by popular demand-making it our hottest infused EVOO.

During the month of July, Marisolio is offering 10% off of our fabulous products below. Stop by today!

Galega Extra Virgin Olive Oil – The dominant Variety in Portugal, this early harvest example is delicate, creamy and viscous with notes of apple peel, strawberry and almond.

Red Cayenne Chili Oil – Extra Hot!! Made exclusively at our organic mill in Tunisia by crushing 12 pounds of fresh whole ripe cayenne chilies for each gallon(7.6 pounds) of 100% organic EVOO.

Herbs de Provence Oil – The classic Provençal herb combination includes notes of lavender, rosemary, savory thyme and bay leaf. Made with certified Ultra Premium EVOO.

Tangerine Balsamic Condimento – This 12 year Italian Balsamic has pure and natural Tangerine added to make a great complex flavor.

Cranberry Pear White Balsamic – Clean, crisp, tart, and has a lovely deep rose blush.

Wild Blueberry – Blueberry lovers will really appreciate this one! Drizzle this balsamic over fruit, green salads, Feta and Goat cheese!


stuffed grape leaves

Jenny Baxter is back and taking us to the Middle East with her menu of Stuffed Grape Leaves, Tabooli, Hummus, Cucumber Yogurt Salad and  Kibbe, which is a ground lamb meatloaf. Class starts at 6p.m. and is $40.00.   Call Marisolio at 209-728-8853 to reserve your place. Don’t forget to bring a friend!





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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad


If you have been nurturing a patch of parsley and mint in your herb garden, this recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad will help you use a good amount of it!  I love to serve this filling and delicious salad on warm days.  The fact that it can be made ahead and chilled makes dinner prep a snap.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup of fresh parsley, minced and stems removed
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, minced
1/4 cup minced red onion (can use scallions if desired)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup English cucumber, diced
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. Marisolio Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil
1 T. Marisolio Lemongrass Mint White Balsamic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil.  Ad the quinoa.  Reduce the heat; simmer, covered, 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork.  Transfer to a large serving bowl and cool completely.

Add finely minced parsley, mint, onion and garlic to quinoa in bowl.  Add diced tomatoes and cucumber to quinoa and herbs.

In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil, Lemongrass Mint Balsamic, salt and pepper until blended.  Drizzle dressing over quinoa, herbs and vegetables and mix well.  Serve at room temperature or chill until serving.

We would love to have you come by the shop at 488 Main Street in Murphys to taste these delicious products.  If you can’t do that, you can order by phone at (209) 728-8853 or on Marisolio’s website:

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July Cooking Classes


Marisolio has a great line up of cooking classes for the month of July.  Classes are held the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.  We offer two sessions to choose from, a 10 AM to 12 PM session and a 6 PM to 8 PM session.  Class fee is $40 and all classes are held in our shop at 488 Main Street in Murphys.  (209) 728-8853.

On Tuesday, July 12, Murphys own Cheese Lady (Judy Creighton) will teach “The Cheese Lady Cooks Mac & Cheese”.  Judy has a big following in Murphys as a cheese educator and consultant.  She is a lecturer and judge for the American Cheese Society and is a board member of the California Artisan Cheese Guild.  To say she knows her cheese is an understatement!  Judy’s menu for this class is delectable:

Drunken Cow with Edamame, Fennel and Rotini
Petit Basque with Roasted Garlic, Shallots and Gemelli
Honey Bzzz with Scallions, Artichoke Hearts and Shell pasta
La Tur with Conchiglie, Nectarines and Apricot Jam

On Tuesday, July 26, local chef Jenny Baxter will teach a class called “Culinary Journey with Jenny: Middle Eastern Cooking”.  Jenny is a published cookbook author, former food editor and contributor for two local newspapers, and has had her own public access TV show called “Jenny’s  Kitchen”.  Jenny will demonstrate how to make stuffed grape leaves, as well as instruct us on how to prepare several other Middle Eastern dishes:

Stuffed Grape Leaves (Yebra)
Parsley Salad (Tabooli)
Cucumber Yogurt Salad (Khyar Bil Laban)
Garbanzo Bean Dip (Hummus)
Ground Lamb Meatloaf (Kibbe)

Call us at (209) 728-8853 to make your reservations in advance.  These classes are sure to be a sell out!

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Hawaiian Pupus Cooking Class


Have we got a fun class scheduled for your enjoyment this month!  Marisolio welcomes Mona Klein to our kitchen to instruct us on how to make a number of delicious “Small Bites” Hawaiian style.  Just what you need next time you plan a luau out by the pool.  Whether you have a pool or not, these recipes are sure to please your family and friends.  Grab your flower lei and puka shell necklace and head on over to the shop on June 28 for this great class.

Call (209) 728-8853 to make your reservation ahead.  Class fee is $40, and we offer two sessions for your convenience:  10 AM to 12 PM, and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  All classes are held at Marisolio, 488 Main St. in Murphys.

Kahlua Marinated Pork Sliders
Sam Choi’s Fried Poke with Tuna
Lettuce Wrapped Lumpia
Trader Vic’s Rumaki
Kona Inn Banana Bread
Mai Tai Punch

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Pineapple Baked Beans


We have a great recipe for a summery side dish to share with you.  Tangy Pineapple Balsamic dresses up slow cooked baked beans in this recipe you can use as a  hearty side dish or even as the main course.  If you have company coming and the temperature is 100+, it’s always nice to have dinner made and a low clean up factor.

Pineapple Baked Beans

1 lb ground beef
1 28 oz can baked beans
3/4 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 1/2  T. soy sauce
1 T. Marisolio Golden Pineapple White Balsamic
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Transfer to a 5 quart slow cooker.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until bubbly.

Marisolio’s Pineapple Balsamic is delightful on your summer salads.  It adds a summery tropical flavor to ordinary salad greens, and is sure to please.  You can stop by the shop at 488 Main Street in Murphys, or order by phone at (209) 728-8853.  Our website makes ordering easy and fast at any time of the day.

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Innovative Father’s Day Gifts Here

fathers day

Do something a little different for Dad this Father’s Day!  Get out of your Neck Tie Rut and try presenting him with one of our amazing olive oils or balsamic vinegars.  Believe us, you will be glad you did.

If you think he could use a bit of spice in his life, we have three chili based oils that will do the trick very nicely.  We have Red Cayenne Olive Oil, smokey Chipotle Olive Oil, and customer favorite- Baklouti Green Chili Olive oil.  Any of these will add a kick to his stir fries, pop corn, scrambled eggs, salsa or guacamole.

We also have a wonderful line of grill seasoning rubs:  Road Kill Grill brings us rubs for poultry, pork, beef, and seafood, and we have four Hot and Spicy Chili rubs in the flavors Sriracha, Chili Lime, Habanero and Chipotle.

Don’t give him another tie that will hang in the closet!  Try one of our delicious products that he is sure to use  and enjoy.

Stop by the shop at 488 Main Street in Murphys, or order online at, or by phone at (209) 728-8853.

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How To Use This Month’s Sale Products

on sale in january

Each month, Marisolio is pleased to offer three olive oils and three balsamics at a reduced price.  Our selections are popular, seasonal and extremely flavorful products that will add loads of taste and distinction to your cooking.  Picking up our monthly sale items is a wonderful way to expand the selection of products in your pantry, as well as to try out new things you may not have considered.  To help you come up with ways to use our flavorful oils and balsamics we like to offer cooking suggestions each month.

Athinoelia Extra Virgin Olive Oil:  This medium intensity olive oil is very balanced with a peppery finish.  Great for your bread dipping oil or any other time you want the taste of a fruity, low bitterness factor oil to shine.

Wild Mushroom and Sage Olive Oil:  We love to saute garlic and herbs in this oil and drizzle it over fresh cooked pasta for a simple, but divinely flavorful side dish when barbecuing.  Pasta made this way takes no time to prepare and is full of flavor.

Butter Olive Oil:  If you or someone you know is trying to avoid consuming dairy products, you must give this plant based flavored olive oil a try.  All the flavor of butter for your popcorn, saute needs or even baking.  We have customers who can’t be without this oil for their cooking!

 Espresso Balsamic:  With raspberries plentiful at the grocery store and local farmer’s market, you simply must try them drizzled with our Espresso Balsamic.  This is a flavor combination made in heaven for sure.  If you like, spooning it over chocolate or coffee flavored ice cream hits the spot as well.

Sherry Reserva:  Here’s the thing.  Whenever I go to the cupboard for my bottle of Sherry to make my special Sherry Bundt cake, the bottle of Sherry is no where to be found.  My husband claims to have no knowledge of its disappearance, but I suspect otherwise.  Imagine how thrilled I was to learn that whenever a recipe calls for Sherry, you can substitute our Sherry Reserva Vinegar.  Since I switched over to that, my problem disappeared.  Add to your favorite baking recipes or wherever else Sherry is called for.

Aged Ripe Peach White Balsamic:  A perennial summer favorite with our customers, you must stock up on this while we have it on sale.  It is the perfect balsamic to use in your summer salads, and is terrific paired with our Basil Olive Oil.  It is also a surprise ingredient in vodka cocktails!  Add a splash to a mixture of vodka and ginger ale for a delicious summer drink.

Stop by the shop at 488 Main Street in Murphys for a tasting–always fun and always free.  Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to show you around and recommend products based on how you like to cook.  You can order by phone at (209) 728-8853 or online at

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