BriarPatch celebrates spring berry season with online beverage-making class

A Berry Good Time: Shrubs, Syrups & Concentrates with Sarah Cain

Know & Go
WHAT: A Berry Good Time: Shrubs, Syrups & Concentrates with Sarah Cain
WHEN: Thursday, May 27, 6 – 7:30pm
WHERE: Online via Zoom
COST: $25

It’s spring and the berries are ripening up nicely at BriarPatch Food Co-op. Celebrate the season with a virtual class and learn the fundamentals of do-it-yourself berry infused beverage making at home.

Join The Patch and Sarah Cain of Muddle Me This on Thursday, May 27 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. for an online class, “A Berry Good Time: Shrubs, Syrups & Concentrates.”

In this class, Cain will teach easy techniques to make an assortment of shrubs, concentrates and syrups at home using delicious natural and certified organic ingredients and a lot less sugar than commercial varieties.

In the drink world, a shrub (or drinking vinegar) is a concentrated syrup that combines fruit, sugar, and vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is the most common base for shrubs, and herbs and spices are often added to create interesting flavor combinations.

By the end of the class, students will have delicious creations with beautiful hues to enliven seltzer, cocktails and liqueurs. This is an interactive, fun, hands-on, make-n-take style class with a liberal dose of beverage lore thrown in, too.

As a child, Cain spent many summers with her dad in Grass Valley and attended the old Hennessey Elementary School in third grade.

“My passion for DIY started by necessity as a hippie kid with very little money. The first thing I remember making was homemade play dough. Next was sewing for my dolls and making furniture for them by re-purposing found objects. By high school I was producing a music fanzine and live shows to go along with it. I’ve ended up doing a lot of different things in my life – and I am never bored,” said Cain.

For 25 years, Cain has been involved with the restaurant industry in Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area. A former sommelier, Cain has made liqueurs professionally for years, earning multiple ribbons at the Alameda County Fair.

“I started making liqueurs to enhance our bar offerings and align them more closely with our farm to table menu. Teaching liqueur making began when my group of friends started a monthly rotating craft teach-in. It was so fun, and I realized then that no one else seemed to be doing it,” she said.

She left the restaurant business to start her own organic farm and grew specialty vegetables for a decade. Cain currently lives in Vallejo, California where she raises chickens in her backyard urban garden.

“Making liqueurs brings together into one place many things I love – local and seasonal produce, history, crafting, and recipe creation – also known as trial and error,” she said.

An ingredient list and recipes will be sent one week before the class. BriarPatch Owner-Members will receive a $5 shopping credit to help purchase ingredients one week before the Zoom class.


Learn more about BriarPatch Food Co-op:

BriarPatch Food Co-op is a community-owned cooperative business. We provide our community with quality food and products, strengthen our local economy, and support local/regional businesses that are committed to regenerative agriculture, sustainability, humane practices, and organic farming.