About the time of the American Revolution, Jessie Fish's grove, on Anastasia Island, was yielding the finest oranges in America. They were in demand, as far away as London, for the making of Orange Shrub. This powerful drink combined orange juice with rum and sugar. It might be considered an ancestor of the whiskey sour. It was a hit with Loyalists and Patriots alike.
Mix 1 gallon of rum with the peel of 6 oranges. Add 6 cups of sugar and dissolve by mixing well. Combine this mixture with a quart of sweet orange juice and place in a wooden cask or earthenware crock for several weeks to age and develop character. After aging, remove shrub from the cask, strain, and bottle for immediate consumption or storage. This is a wonderful base for a hearty punch.
Ambrosia is a holiday tradition in the South. It takes advantage of fresh Florida citrus that ripens just in time for Christmas. It is a perfect match for the robust fare served during the festive holiday season.
4 naval oranges
½ fresh pineapple
1/4 cup pecan pieces
½ cup orange juice
1/4 cup light corn syrup
½ cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup dry sherry
Peel and section oranges and grapefruit, removing any seeds. Peel and cube pineapple into bite size pieces. Mix orange juice, corn syrup, and sherry. Pour over fruit and let set overnight in refrigerator to combine flavors. Top with coconut and nuts. Ambrosia may be presented in individual cups or served in a crystal bowl as the grand finale.