tasting A Toast to Jefferson If you’ve never had a shrub before, it’s the perfect refresher on a warm summer day. A shrub is a nostalgic name for a vinegarbased drinking syrup popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. The concoction is easy to make, and offers a sweet-but-tart combination of seasonal fruits that blend perfectly in sodas and cocktails, giving them a deeper flavor profile. All you need is the fruit or vegetable of your choice—maybe Jefferson’s favorite, the peach—sugar and a complementary vinegar. The fruit tastes like its truest self when allowed to steep for a few days, and the vinegar brightens up the flavors. There’s been a trend in American drinking, moving away from sweet, fruity drinks like cosmopolitans, and more toward drinks with a savory, sour or bitter quality. Whether you mix your shrub with a plain soda water for a non-alcoholic refresher or add it to alcohol for a delicious alternative to acids such as lemons and limes, a shrub will add a new dimension to your drink’s palate. Visit Monticello’s blog to try out their delicious colonial recipe.
Yappy Hours at Keswick Vineyards As the temperature warms, Keswick Vineyards prepares for a new season. Just as in years past, they are welcoming a few furry friends to join the grounds each weekend. Every Sunday, beginning in May and running through October, Keswick hosts “Yappy Hours.” This family-oriented time includes visits from local animal shelters and societies. The organizations each bring dogs that are in need of a loving home for potential adoption. Throughout the day, the organizations’ dogs can visit with vineyard guests and play with other dogs on the beautiful property. In addition to having the adorable pooches on site, each Sunday, a portion of the tasting room sales are donated to the shelter present that day. Guests at Keswick Vineyards are always invited to bring their family dog to enjoy a day outside and to have some fun playing in the new fenced dog park. Here they can run freely while you relax and enjoy a glass of your favorite wine. In October, a favorite annual tradition is the Yappy Howl-O-Ween party with prizes for the best-dressed pets.