Jeremiah Holt

Jeremiah Holt, Mixologist


profilepic_largeLike so many classics that are new again, the shrub is a cocktail that’s making a comeback. An acidified beverage that dates to Colonial times, the shrub is a sweet-tart mixture of fruit, sugar and vinegar. Mixed with alcohol or not, it’s meant to quench the thirst and stimulate the appetite. Prior to the advent of refrigeration, shrub syrups were a common method of preserving fruits and berries throughout the growing season.

Vancouver-area bartender Jeremiah Holt values shrubs for their tart astringency and has begun creating custom shrub syrups for his mobile bartending service, Just Right Cocktails. After success with Banana Puree, he is trying to invent a shrub using Yuzu Luxe Sour blend.


“I just love mixing drinks and creating innovative new drinks,” says Holt effusively. “It’s the highlight of what I do.”

Holt is ranked among the top bar catering services in Portland and specializes in batch requests. Once he knows what his clients want to serve and how many guests they expect, he mixes cocktails by the gallon and delivers them to the party in decorative glass decanters. The model is ideal for smaller events and private parties where a bartender isn’t necessary but the host wants to serve something more than wine and beer. “They spend an arm and a leg to rent a venue and I tell them, ‘Just focus on two cocktails.’ It’s a cost-effective alternative to an open bar and they can match the drink to the food instead of serving rum and cokes,” Holt says.

Holt’s services include beverage-menu consulting, beer-and-food pairing, spirit-and-food pairings and wine-and-food pairing consultations along with event bartending services. He specializes in catering to people with dietary restrictions such as allergies.

Recently, he mixed a punch of Blood Orange, Hibiscus and Cranberry (for color) with red wine and 7-Up. Another variation on the batches he makes with the purees is a punch of sparkling moscato with Yuzu Luxe Sour. Then there was the man at an event who pulled out a bottle of tequila and asked what Holt had to mix with it. “I added New Pic[Key Lime Concentrate] and champagne and that was the most popular drink of the night,” says Holt. “Once it was done it was done.”

Holt says the purees lend themselves to experimentation and spontaneity because they’re easy to work with and they pair with other flavors in unexpected ways. “My philosophy is to use the simplest of techniques with the best ingredients done just right for the moment and I enjoy using a fruit puree because it’s a clean, beautiful-tasting product.”

Holt gets a lot of inspiration each year from Portland Cocktail Week, which draws visiting bartenders from around the world.
“I’ve learned about different garnishes, how to distill and create innovative products and especially about using different bartending techniques,” he says.

Since Holt runs his business out of his home, he’s free to experiment with the purees in the kitchen, where he typically uses them in savory applications like a Blood Orange-glazed chicken with honey and hot sauce, and a baked sweet potato pudding with Carmelized Pineapple.

Recipes by Jeremiah Holt

The Banana, Almond, Red Chili Shrub
The Banana, Almond, Red Chili Shrub (Non-Alcoholic)