Food & Drink

The Burnt District

An easy-to-make pineapple shrub enlivens this mezcal cocktail

Photo: Andrew Cebulka | Courtesy of Doar Bros.

Drinking vinegars and vinegar-based shrubs have made their way onto home bars and cocktail menus across the South, including at Doar Bros., a cocktail bar in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. There, bar manager Megan Deschaine created the Burnt District, one of a series of cocktails that nod to Charleston history and culture while showcasing a modern approach to drinking. “Featuring smoky mezcal and pineapple, the iconic symbol for Charleston and hospitality, the name of this cocktail references the great fire of 1838, which leveled the same several blocks in which our bar is located,” Deschaine explains. “It was later coined ‘the burnt district.’” Bonus: Her Spiced Pineapple Shrub makes for a great addition to your fridge for all sorts of home mixology.—Jenny Adams


    • 1½ oz. mezcal

    • 1½ oz. Spiced Pineapple Shrub (ingredients below)

    • ½ oz. lime juice

    • Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters


    • 1 pineapple

    • 1 quart apple cider vinegar

    • 6 cloves, crushed

    • 4 cinnamon sticks, crushed

    • 20 allspice berries

    • 8 star anise pods

    • 15–20 black peppercorns

    • 2 cups (or more) sugar


  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake well, and then pour into a collins glass. Finish with 2–3 dashes of black walnut bitters.

  2. For the shrub: Remove the skin of one pineapple and chop into small pieces. Add to 1 quart of apple cider vinegar and allow to soak for 24 hours.

  3. Over low heat, slow cook the pineapple and vinegar with the spices and sugar. After about 30 minutes, carefully taste the contents. The shrub should be aromatic and zippy—a balance of tart and semi-sweet. If it is too acidic, carefully add more sugar to your preferred palate. 

  4. Remove from heat and allow the contents to cool. Strain off the solids and store the shrub in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.  

Recipe by Megan Deschaine of Doar Bros. in Charleston, South Carolina