Strawberry Shrub - simple syrup of fruit, sugar and vinegar. Use to make a delightful summer drink, salad dressing or dessert topping.
Beverages, Fruit, Sauces

Made It Loved It – Strawberry Shrub

While perusing one of my favorite linky parties I stumbled on this recipe for Sparkling Strawberry Shrub from at The Whole Serving. And I knew I had to try it. And not just because I had a half flat of strawberries in the fridge a friend gave me. It intrigued me.

Strawberry Shrub pin

A “shrub”, you ask? Say what now? For those of you who’ve never heard of a shrub before, like me, it is a fruity sweet tart syrup added to drinks. It was popular in colonial times as a way to preserve fruit without refrigeration. Kind of like Rumtopf, without the alcohol.

It is a kin to the simple syrup except a shrub is made with vinegar to give it a pleasant tartness. It can be added to cold water, sparkling water or iced tea for a great summer refresher, mixed with alcohol for a more adult beverage, or … well when you get to the bottom of the post you’ll see two interesting ideas I came up with for it.

How to make the Shrub

To make it you macerate fruit in an equal amount of sugar (example, for 2 cups fruit use 2 cups sugar).

strawberry shrub


Let it sit for a day or more until it gets nice and syrupy.

strawberry shrub(2)


Strain the fruit.

strawberry shrub3


Finally, mix the juice with apple cider vinegar and let it sit for at least a week.

strawberry shrub(3)


The key is to let it sit and mellow for at least a week. Initially it will be overly sugary and overly tar from the vinegar. You will think I am looney to recommend you drink straight apple cider vinegar laced with sugar if you try it too soon. But, once it sits the flavors blend beautifully. Tart and sweet with a nice strawberry flavor.

I made it just as Celeste recommends. The next time I try it though, I will experiment with different fruits and/or different vinegar and maybe even throw in some herbs too:

  • peaches and raspberries in champagne vinegar,
  • strawberries and lavender in white wine or apple cider vinegar,
  • blueberries and basil
  • watermelon and honey


What I made with Strawberry Shrub

To make this drink, all I did was add a tablespoon or two to some plain old tap water. Very nice on a 90 degree April day with next to no humidity.

strawberry shrub2

I also mixed it with an equal part of oil as a salad dressing for my mostly homegrown salad (everything but the onions)

Strawberry Shrub Salad Dressing


And finally I ...are you ready for this?… poured it on some vanilla ice cream. A-MA-ZING!!!

Strawberry Shrub on Ice Cream


As always with the Made It Loved It series, I am sending you to the direct source for the recipe: The Whole Serving.

Have you ever made or had a shrub before? What fruit/vinegar combination would you use? What would make with the shrub? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

13 thoughts on “Made It Loved It – Strawberry Shrub”

  1. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe at the #RecipeSharingParty! I hope to see you next week. Pinned and Yummed. Please visit #OverTheMoon on Sunday or #ThursdayFavoriteThings for more sharing fun! Don’t forget to Comment your link #’s so I can be sure to visit and you get a chance to be featured!

  2. That sounds really interesting! I tweeted it out. At first, I was like. . .that’s a lot of sugar! I bet it tastes amazing, though. I love the idea of tartness from the vinegar. Hope you have a great week!

  3. Well I’ve learnt something new today – I now know what a shrub is and it seems so versatile. It has a lot of sugar so for me it might be too sweet but then the tartness of the vinegar will add a different flavour dimension. Thanks for sharing with us at Over the Moon.

    1. The sugar was needed for preservation back in the day, but I assume if you put it in the fridge you can cut back on it or use another sweetener. But you only use about a tablespoon per drink which reduces it quite a bit.

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