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This fruity Shrub Recipe is made with vinegar and sparkling water to create a tasty, lightly sweetened drink. Making homemade drinking vinegar couldn't be simpler!
Drinking vinegar is all the rage, and I'm absolutely on board, especially in the form of this shrub recipe.
See, I love enjoying a non-alcoholic beverage in the afternoons, especially when the weather is nice. That typically includes a glass of bulletproof coffee, my turmeric latte or some flavored sparkling water, but this shrub recipe is my new go-to.
What is a shrub?
Ever heard of a shrub? No, not the plant, I’m talking about the drink! A shrub is basically a vinegar-based drink that’s made with fresh fruit and sugar. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of vinegar but these drinks are awesome because you only use a small amount for each drink.
You have to trust me on this one! They'e a refreshing drink and, in my opinion, the perfect summer mocktail.
You'll essentially make simple syrup using fruit, herbs, vinegar, and sugar, and then let the mixture sit in the refrigerator so the flavors really mend together. Then, you'll pour it into a glass and top it off with club soda. It's delicious!
- Learn how to make two different varieties of fruit shrub: blackberry sage and grapefruit mint
- Made with only fresh fruit, fresh herbs, sugar, vinegar, and club soda -- that's it!
- A deliciously refreshing drink that can be enjoyed with or without alcohol!
- You can buy pre-made shrub drinks at the store, but making them at home is so easy and I'm guessing more affordable too.
Berries - Use fresh berries, not frozen, and for these recipes we're using blackberries, grapefruit and strawberries
Herbs - There are a variety of fresh herbs that can be used, but for these recipes, opt for fresh sage and fresh mint leaves
Vinegar - I tend to opt for either apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, though champagne vinegar is another great option. You can use white vinegar, but I prefer using vinegar that's a slightly sweeter tasting.
Sugar - Cane sugar is my preference, but if you want to cut down on the sugar, monkfruit sweetener would work.
Club soda - Or, use tonic water or soda water, and make sure it's unflavored!
Step 1: Mash the fruit. Start by adding the fruit, fresh herbs, sugar, and vinegar into a bowl, then use a potato masher the mash everything together for 2 minutes. Then, switch to a fork and continue mashing for 1-2 minutes. You want the fruit to be broken down really well.
Step 2: Refrigerate. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, then place it in the fridge for 24-48 hours so the flavors can come together. As it sits, make sure to stir it a couple times throughout each day.
Step 3: Strain. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator, then pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, discarding the fruit.
Step 4: Assemble. Fill a glass with ice, then add 3 tablespoons of the shrub syrup to the glass. Pour tonic water overtop, stir and then do a quick taste test. Add more fruity syrup as needed, and enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- It's always a good idea to taste the syrup before refrigerating it. For example, herbs vary in size quite a bit, so you may want to use more or less herbs than the recipe calls for based on size. For example, I bought sage and the leaves were huge, so I didn't need to use quite as many.
- Adding a fresh squeeze of lime juice to the drink before serving is a nice touch.
- You can learn all about shrub "cocktails" and how to use them in this article.
Other tasty shrub combinations:
- Peach + basil
- Pear + ginger
- Raspberry + rosemary
- Rhubarb + cinnamon
Can I make this into a cocktail?
Yep! If you want to make a shrub cocktail, add the shrub syrup and 1 ounce of gin, vodka or tequila to a cocktail shaker and shake. Pour into a glass, then top it off with the club soda. Add more alcohol and/or fruit syrup as desired.
Do I have to use cane sugar?
Nope! Though it's a decent amount of sugar, each drink only uses 3 tablespoons of the syrup, which I don't think is too bad. However, if you want to lighten up this shrub recipe, I suggest using a ½ cup of honey, and then adding more to taste. I personally wouldn't use maple syrup, as I think it'll impact the overall flavor too much.
Refrigerator: Store the shrub syrup in a jar with a lid in the fridge for up to 10 months. I don't recommend freezing the syrup or storing it at room temperature.
More easy drink recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Fruity Shrub Recipe
blackberry sage shrub:
- Both shrub recipes are made the exact same way.
- Add the fruit, fresh herbs, sugar, and vinegar to a bowl, then use a potato masher to mash everything together for 2 full minutes. Then, switch over to a fork and continue mashing for 1-2 minutes until the fruit is broken down really well.
- Cover the bowl either with a lid or plastic wrap, then place it in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, stirring the mixture a couple times a day.
- Once it's refrigerated, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to really press as much fruit juice out as possible.
- Before serving: fill a glass with ice, then add 3 tablespoons of the shrub simple syrup to the glass, then top it off with tonic water. Stir, taste test and add more fruit syrup as needed. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published in August 2018. It was updated with new text and photos in April 2023.