Shrub Drinks (Drinking Vinegars)

by Laura on May 1, 2015

in Drink, Featured Recipe

Strawberry, Peppercorn and Balsamic Shrub.

Strawberry, Peppercorn and Balsamic Shrub.


This shrub is a vinegar-based syrup that is sweetened with fruit and sugar or honey. It is often used as a base for a cocktail, but is also delicious as a non-alcoholic drink, mixed with soda or carbonated water.

Also known as drinking vinegar, the shrub was popular during colonial times, as it was used as a means of preserving fruit long past it’s picking.

Tart and sweet at the same time, a shrub quenches thirst, and is actually meant to stimulate the appetite. The acidity of the shrub makes it ideal as an aperitif, or even if you want to use it instead of bitters in your favorite cocktail. However you enjoy it, this versatile drink is easily made and can be enjoyed all year round

You can blend using a fruity vinegar, such as apple cider or wine vinegar and then add some fresh herbs to complement the fruit. The flavor combinations are unending, just choose fruit that is at the peak of season.

Strawberry, Peppercorn and Balsamic Shrub

  • 2 cups hulled and quartered washed strawberries
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 10 cracked peppercorns
  • ¾ cups balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cups apple cider vinegar.

Combine the strawberries, sugar and peppercorns in a bowl. Mix to thoroughly combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing down the strawberries to extract all the juice. Discard the strawberries. Scrape any remaining sugar into the syrup. Whisk the vinegars into the syrup Pour the syrup into a clean glass. Jar and refrigerate indefinitely. The sharpness will mellow with time.

 To serve: Combine 1 part shrub and 2 to 3 parts water or sparkling water in a glass and squeeze of lime.

For cocktails: Blend 1 part shrub to 1 part tequila to 2 parts sparkling water with a good squeeze of lime


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