3 Traditional Shrub Recipes

Shrubs are a delicious traditional drink that can be adapted to just about any fruit.

November/December 2016

  • Cranberry Shrub
    Shrubs are traditionally made by cold-processing and fermentation but the process can be sped up with heat.
    Photo by Fotolia/Nitr
  • Cranberry Shrub

The traditional method of making shrubs cold-processed and fermented takes a few days. It works with any fruit, and is the preferred method for retaining nutrients and for its bright flavor. The hot-process method works faster and creates flavors more like sweet jams. Most fruits can be processed with the hot method, with the exception of melons.

Experimentation is the name of the game when it comes to creating shrubs and shrub drinks. The basic formulas that follow allow for a lot of freedom. Keep a bottle or two of your favorite flavors in the refrigerator, or create specilaty blends to give as gifts or serve during the holiday season. For more information about shrubs, including delicious recipes, check out Wild Drinks and Cocktails by Emily Han or Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times by Micheal Dietsch. 


Gingered-Cranberry Shrub

• 1 pound fresh cranberries, washed and picked clean of any soft or discolored berries
• 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
• zest of 1 lemon
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• approximately 1/2 to 1-1/2 cups organic champagne vinegar

Cardamom-Pear Shrub

• 4 medium ripe pears, washed, cored and thinly sliced
• 2 whole green cardamom pods
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
• approximately 1/2 to 1-1/2 cups organic apple cider vinegar
• splash of aged balsamic vinegar

Apple-Rosemary Shrub

• 3 medium apples, washed, cored and thinly sliced
• large sprig fresh rosemary
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup honey
• approximately 1/2 to 1-1/2 cups organic apple cider vinegar


1. Combine all ingredients (except vinegar) in a nonreactive container and stir to coat everything evenly. Cover with a clean dish towel and allow to sit on counter for 3 days. Stir daily.

2. Strain syrup into a measuring cup, and discard solids. Combine syrup with an equal amount of vinegar. 

3. Pour mixture into a sterilized, narrow-neck jar and store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Read More:

Drinking Shrubs

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