The Shrub: No, I’m not talking about landscaping

A few months back, a friend of mine was talking about making a shrub. She went on to explain that it was a vinegary drink made from fruit syrup. Her husband is a lover of all things vinegar and she’s a complete natural in the kitchen. So, it was safe for me to deduce that if she was talking about it, it was worth a look. I pinned a few recipes and forgot about it shortly after. This past week, I had an abundance of plums and peaches and they needed to be used quickly. In fact, many of them had become a bit too soft to eat. I sort of sifted through my memory banks and recalled the shrub! Yes! A great use for fruit that might be a bit soft but has not yet begun to rot. Thanks, Christina! (FYI, this gal should have her own blog, she’s aaahhh-mazing! If she ever starts one, I will definitely share it with you all!)

In true Swearing Mom fashion, I am going to make a cocktail out of this deliciousness, but first… a little history. The Shrub, also known as Drinking Vinegar, dates back to colonial times when vinegared fruit syrups were mixed with spirits and were a popular way of “putting up” fruit to avoid waste. It can also be mixed with seltzer water or used to sweeten teas etc.

You will need the following:

  • 2 cups chopped fruit. I made two shrubs, a peach and a plum.
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, I use raw turbinado.
  • 1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar. I like Bragg’s
  • Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum
  • Vodka
  • Lemon


  1. Place fruit and sugar in a bowl and toss until coated.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 2-5 days. Be sure to stir your fruit mixture once or twice per day for maximum yield.
  3. Strain fruit away from syrup and discard. I actually used the fruit in a smoothie to avoid waste but there’s not much else to use it for. You will be left with about two cups of a beautifully colored syrup.
  4. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to your syrup. Store in a bottle or mason jar with a lid in the fridge.

The flavors will develop after a few days and the vinegar will mellow out a bit.

The Cocktails

Spiced Peach Shrub

  1. Add 1oz peach syrup and 1oz Captain Morgan’s to a rocks glass and give it a little swirl.
  2. Add ice to your glass and top it off with club soda

Lemon Plumtini

  1. Add 1oz plum syrup and 1oz vodka to a rocks glass and give it a little swirl.
  2. Add ice to your glass and top off with club soda and a lemon twist.

The non-alcohol version of this is delicious and refreshing. Pour some club soda over ice and sweeten to taste with your shrub.




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