Sparkling Strawberry Shrub - Sweet, tart and delicious combination of strawberries, turbinado sugar and apple cider vinegar. If you like fermented drinks like Kombucha you're going to love Shrubs.
Have you had a shrub today?
No,not the bush you find in your front lawn or garden center, but the fruit and vinegar based drink that seems to be popping up all over the internet. Shrubs first became popular in the colonial days, made by mixing vinegar syrup with water or carbonated water and spirits. During the colonial days all foods were freshly prepared and without refrigeration foods would go bad quickly and sometimes cause those that ate it to get sick.
Before refrigeration vinegar was used to preserve fruits and vegetables. The syrup that was a by product was mixed with spirits and used initially as a medicinal tonic for good health, but soon evolved into something more. I'm so glad we have refrigeration today.
So what Is a shrub?
It's a mixture of fruit, sugar and vinegar, and yes vegetables can be added. There are two methods of making this sweet and tart concoction, the cold-processed or cooked method. The method I'm sharing today is the cold-method, a 1:1 ratio, and I chose to use turbinado sugar.For more on shrubs check out this article from Michael Dietsch, his first book Shrubs, was published in 2014 and this article from Total Food Service.
Step one: Wash, quarter the strawberries and lightly crush them with my fingers and mix with the sugar.
Step Two: Cover and place in the fridge for one to two days, stirring occasionally.
Step Three: Strain the syrup from the fruit, pressing gently and scraping any sugar not dissolved into the syrup.
Step Four: Mix the vinegar with the syrup, pour into a clean bottle (I recycled some old wine bottles), cap bottle, shake to mix the undissolved sugar and refrigerate for several days. I left mine for about a week and shook it everyday to dissolve any sugar. Eventually the acids in the juice and vinegar will dissolve any remaining sugar. The leftover fruit can be used in smoothies or over ice cream.
After a week it will be a very sweet and tart shrub. I have to admit I was a bit dismayed with all of the sugar, but after making a drink I realized I only used 1 tablespoon of shrub for 8 ounces of water. And oh, by the way, it can be stored in the fridge for 6 months or more.
Once you have your shrub it's time to get mixing. Make yourself a Sparkling Strawberry Shrub or get creative and make a signature drink. If you are in the mood for a cocktail you can mix your shrub with your favorite sparkling wine, liqueur, vodka or gin.
But drinks aren't the only thing shrubs are made for. Use it to make jams, jellies, salad dressings and sauces. I'm going to be giving other fruits, herbs and vegetables a try, and of course I will be sharing with all of you.
Sparkling Strawberry Shrub
- Yield: 6 cups 1x
- STRAWBERRY SHRUB
- 3 cups fresh clean quartered strawberries
- 3 cups turbinado sugar
- 3 cups apple cider vinegar
- SPARKLING STRAWBERRY SHRUB
- sparkling water
- Strawberry Shrub to taste
- In a large bowl mix the quartered strawberries and sugar, lightly crush some of the berries with your fingers.
- Cover bowl and place in the fridge 6 hours or 1 to 2 days. Stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar.
- Strain syrup that has formed from the fruit using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, into a large bowl. Press gently on fruit to extract as much of the syrup as possible.
- Scrape any undissolved sugar that remains into the syrup.
- Whisk (Affiliate Link) the apple cider vinegar into the syrup.
- Pour into a clean bottle, cap bottle, shake to mix the undissolved sugar and refrigerate for several days. I left mine for about a week and shook it everyday to dissolve any sugar. Eventually the acids in the juice and vinegar will dissolve any remaining sugar. The leftover fruit can be used in smoothies or over ice cream.
- TO MAKE SPARKLING STRAWBERRY SHRUB
- Pour desired amount of water into glass and add Strawberry Shrub syrup to taste, mix and serve.
Sparkling Strawberry Shrub adapted from Michael Dietsch, Cold-Processed Shrub at Serious Eats
If you make this recipe or a version of it, take a picture and share with me on Instagram, tag it #thewholeserving or leave a comment below. I’d love to see or hear about what you create with Shrubs.
Hi Ashleigh, this shrub is so delicious, you will love!
tonya conteh says
Kombucha runs through my veins; I know I'll love this one! Looking forward to more of your concoctions!
Thanks Tonya, I hope your week is of to a great start.
David @ Spiced says
What an interesting idea, Celeste! I had no idea that shrubs hail all the way back to colonial days. I'm definitely a fan of refrigeration...haha. So I'm totally intrigues by this recipe. It seems like a pretty cool process, and I just might need to give this one a shot. Beautiful photos as always, too!
Yeah,refrigeration is a good thing and this Strawberry Shrub is a good thing. I've been using it to make jams, salad dressings and cookies. I hope you give shrub making a try. I think I'll try making lemon shrub next. Thanks for stopping by David and hope your week os off to a great start. Oh and thanks for the compliment on my photos.
This looks amazing! Pinned so I can find it later when I bring home a fresh flat of strawberries!
Thanks Wendi, I certinaly hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
yummy and healthy, can't beat that! Love there are so many ways to use the shrub too. I will have to give this a try - I love strawberries! Can't wait to see how it turns out with other fruits and veggies.
Thanks for stopping by Millie, I'm giving lemon and mint a try next. Can't wait to see how it turns out.
Donna Heber says
Hello, I'm dropping by from the DIY Show Off Party. Your tropical drink looks so refreshing and delicious! Thanks for sharing it. Have a great day!
Thanks Donna, it is prettty refreshing.
Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says
I've never even heard of a shrub before. Well except for the lawn and garden variety. 😉 But, this kind of shrub sounds and looks like the perfect beverage to cool off with!! Thanks for linking up with us at The Wednesday Showcase!
I hadn't either until a few months ago, so I gave it a try. I'm trying lemon and mint next.
Thanks for stopping by Joanna and thanks for hosting The Wednesday Showcase.
Lynn Spencer says
Hi Celeste, I love Kombucha, so I'm sure I'll love this shrub too. And it's a good way to get some vinegar in my diet so I'm going to give this a try. Have a great weekend.
Carol @ The Red Painted Cottage says
OK, I give up! I must live under a rock or wherever because I've never heard of Kombucha or shrubs before, but it sounds great. I'll have to try making it and try it out.
I've been looking for more non-alcoholic drinks. So, this would be perfect! It sounds like an interesting drink and I love the strawberry garnish in your photos!
Exactly, I'm not much of a drinker and I love the refreshing aspect of this drink. However, a lot of people use it in alcoholic beverages. It's versatile.
Sandy Sandmeyer says
I'd never heard of shrubs before, but this sounds really good. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us at the Over the Moon Link Party.
Thank you Sandy, I hope you have a chance during the upcoming warmer months to give it a try.
Celeste, this is definitely a new one for me. I've never heard of a shrub before. But your photos are so gorgeous that I think I want one right now! I know that vinegar is good for your digestion, are there any other health benefits received from this drink? I read the other article but other than the history I didn't see health related benefits. Not that I need any, this drink looks so good and refreshing. I just know that normally your recipes do double or triple Duty in the benefits department so I thought I would ask.
You're right Nikki, with this one you get the benefits of the apple cider vinegar. The biggest is digestion and energy boost. Because of the history behind why it was used in the earlier day, it's mainly to aid in digestion and as a refreshing cooling drink, because it was before refrigeration and air conditioning.
Deborah Davis says
What a delectable beverage! I would love to serve this for my next book club meeting.The ladies would love them! I am so delighted to see your healthy and delicious sparkling strawberry shrub recipe at the Healthy Happy Green Natural Party! I'm Pinning and sharing this!
Hi Deborah, I'm so glad that you like it. You must let me know how it works for you and your friends.
Thanks for featuring it in your link party this week.
Sounds tasty and healthy. Would be great for the summertime heat. Congratulations on being featured on Healthy Happy Green & Natural blog hop Shared.
Thank you Maria, I so appreciate the feature. By the way, my middle name is Maria, pretty name.
Erin - Suburban Simplicity says
We've been calling them flavored drinking vinegars, but now I know they're shrubs! Very cool! They are quite yummy! My friend makes a great fig one! Thanks for sharing at Welcome Home Wednesdays! See you tomorrow! xo
They are amazing, I'm making a lemon shrub next.
I've started making my own ginger ale but I'd not heard of a shrub until I read this post. Fascinating! I pinned it to my recipe board as well as the Healthy Living Link Party board. Thanks for linking up!
I stopped back by to let you know I featured you at this week's Healthy Living Link Party. Thanks again for linking up!
Thanks Leigh, I so appreciate being featured this week.
I enjoy finding some really awesome content.
Thanks for hosting.
I saw this on the Ultimate Pinterest Party and loved this recipe so much that not only did I make it, I posted about it in my "Made It, Loved It" series. I linked back to you to get the recipe and instructions. Of course my pictures are not as gorgeous as yours! (major blogger envy here)
Hope it drives some traffic to you, because this was delicious and so easy.
Thank you Audrey, I'm so glad to see you have made it and that you like it. I'm making one with lemons and herbs that I can't wait to try.
Thanks so much for linking back to my post.
Have a great week.
How interesting! This strawberry shrub looks lovely from your description and goergeous photos! Thank you for sharing - I learned something new today <3
Yang this strawberry shrub is so delicious and I love blending with fruit to make quick and easy spreads. I hope you have a chance to give it a try.