slide_351302_3789025_freeWhen you think of a shrub your mind probably travels directly to that misshapen plant that sits in your front yard. But that’s not where we’re going with this. In the alcohol world, a shrub is a sort of simple syrup made by combining fruit, sugar and vinegar. The fruit will mix with the vinegar and sugar to produce a wonderfully flavored syrup that goes great with some soda water and liquor. Sounds a little funky, right? Well depending on what you choose to mix with your shrub, the result can be an unexpected treat that’s equally sweet and tart.

When choosing what kind of vinegar to use, each type has its own unique flavor qualities. Regardless of what kind you use, your cocktail should never reek of vinegar. If you add too much, it will just overpower the other flavors, ultimately ruining your drink. No one has time for that.

We know, the process sounds a little obscure, but as the saying goes: practice makes perfect. And this is a delicious drink you’ll certainly want to perfect:

Basic shrub syrup: (2 cups)

  • 1 cup sliced fruit of your choice
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar (adjust to your liking)
  • ¾ cup red wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to smash the fruit so its juices are released. Stir until the sugar dissolves and refrigerate over night. The next day, heat the mixture over medium-low heat. Do not simmer – heat until the sugar dissolves. Strain the syrup through a fine strainer and refrigerate again. Use to flavor cocktails or any other drink of your choice.

Recipe found on

Now apply the shrub recipe to these cocktails!

The Shrubarb Cocktail: (1 serving)

For the shrub:

  • 2 lbs. rhubarb, cut into ¼” pieces (about 6 cups)
  • 1 (7 inch) piece ginger, unpeeled and cut into ¼” coins (about ¼ cup)
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar

For the cocktail:

  • 2 oz. gin
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • club soda

Prepare your shrub following the method listed above. Next, combine gin, lime juice and 1 ½ oz. ginger-rhubarb shrub in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake until the outside of the shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled glass, filling ¾ of the way to the top. Top off with club soda.

Recipe found on 

Raspberry and Lavender Shrub Gimlet: (1 serving)

  • 1 oz. raspberry shrub (using any vinegar)
  • 2 oz. gin or vodka
  • soda water
  • 4 to 5 fresh raspberries
  • sprig of fresh rosemary
  • lavender blossom

Prepare your shrub following the method listed above. Fill a glass with ice and pour in liquor and the shrub. Sir to mix. Top with a splash of soda water and garnish with the raspberries and lavender.

Recipe found on

Summer Fruit Shrub Cocktail: (4 servings)

  • 1 lb. unpeeled and pitted chopped plums, apricots, peaches and other fruit of your choice.
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup white wine vinegar
  • ginger beer

Prepare your shrub following the method listed above. For each cocktail, add 1 part shrub to 2 – 3 parts ginger beer and pour over ice.

Recipe found on