Try This New (Healthy!) Spiked Sparkling Drink at a Free Rooftop Happy Hour

Photograph courtesy Quaker City Mercantile.

Ah, summertime. The season of all the outdoor workouts — and all the outdoor happy hours. While drinking calorie-laden cocktails isn’t good for your health or waistline, a new canned drink company is here to make your happy hours a little lighter.

Quaker City Shrubs, the brainchild of spirits industry champion and Quaker City Mercantile founder Steven Grasse in partnership with Diageo, is a new line of fruity, sparkling, alcoholic canned beverages that are made with apple cider vinegar. The brand is marketing itself as a replacement to canned beers and ciders. And after hearing from our Foobooz team that Quaker City Shrubs is as tasty as it sounds, we’re totally happy to make the swap.

The idea for the new line came to Grasse while researching historic cocktail recipes. He learned that shrubs could be combined with fruit and sugar to create a potent concentrate to be mixed with sparkling water. The result? A light, fruity, refreshing beverage that’s perfect for summertime sipping.

When crafting the recipes for Quaker City Shrubs — which currently come in grapefruit, blackberry, and apple flavors — Grasse didn’t want to fill them with sticky, cloying sugars or artificial ingredients. By using apple cider vinegar as a key ingredient, he was able to cut back on sugar and calories, without sacrificing taste. A can of Quaker City Shrubs clocks in at 90 calories with 4% ABV and just three grams of sugar, whereas a typical hard cider might contain double the calories and four times the sugar.

“We spent a long time perfecting this recipe to create a liquid that would appeal to mindful drinkers and would be a welcome alternative to beer and overly sweet hard ciders and other spiked sparkling beverages,” said Grasse, in a press release. “Apple cider vinegar provides the perfect amount of natural sweetness to create an exciting flavor profile without relying on common sweeteners or fermented dextrose.”

Want to give the new drinks a try? Good news: Quaker City Shrubs is hosting a free kick-off party at Bok Bar on July 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. At the event, they’ll be serving up samples of their three flavors with Greensgrow Farms garnishes and pouring “shrub floats” made with Capogiro Gelato Artisans. You’ll also chow down on barbecue from South Philly Smökhaus, healthy bites from Simply Good Jars, and fruit kebabs from Riverwards Produce. Oh, and did we mention this event is totally free? You can RSVP here — and for every attendee, Quaker City Mercantile will donate $1 to Southwark School. Say, what?!

Quaker City Shrubs are now available at Whole Foods, Wegman’s, and Total Wine throughout the Philadelphia and South Jersey region, in addition to select private bottle shops and beer gardens.

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