Strawberry Bourbon Shrub

There’s nothing like drinking something sweet and fizzy on a hot summer day. And so I’d like to recommend sipping on a shrub this weekend.

Shrubs are drinking vinegars and seem to be gaining renewed attention and popularity since the rise of the refrigerator caused their original downfall.  I’ve been reading about them for a while, but didn’t try making one until tasting a ridiculously fresh bourbon apple shrub from Black Market a few weeks ago. Since then it’s become our drink of choice.

This drink starts with a syrup base made from just three ingredients: fruit, sugar and vinegar. The types of fruit, sugar and vinegar can all change, and this makes it a really fun drink with which to experiment. Even though I’ve been playing with strawberries, I’m pretty excited about the possibilities that exist with cherries and apples.

I took the basic recipe structure from Serious Eats, which recommends the ratio of 1:1:1, and from there the following recipe came to be.

Strawberry Shrub Syrup


  • 1 cup washed, hulled and sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar


1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the strawberries with the brown sugar. Make certain the strawberries are coated evenly with sugar.
2. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 – 3 days, allowing berries to macerate. Leave sit until the berries are sitting in plenty of liquid.
3. After 2-3 days, strain liquid into a separate container, pressing the berries to get as much liquid from them as possible. Once you’ve strained the liquid from the berries, if there is any sugar still clinging to the bottom of the original bowl, scrape that into the strained liquid as well.
4. Add the apple cider vinegar to the strained liquid. Place in Ball jar or similar container, place lid and shake well.
5. Keep refrigerated.

You can add an ounce or so of this syrup to water, sparkling water or even to a cocktail. I’d recommend a drink in the following style.

Strawberry Bourbon Shrub


  • 1.5 ounces Strawberry Shrub Syrup
  • 1.5 ounces bourbon
  • Club soda


1. In a tumbler pour the syrup and the bourbon over ice, then fill the rest of the way with club soda.
2. Swirl and enjoy.



4 responses to “Strawberry Bourbon Shrub”

  1. Hilary Avatar

    I want nothing more than to hang out with you guys, drinking shrub cocktails!

    1. Claire Avatar

      We could gather the old Miller folks who are nearby and have a reunion! You know, if you are ever in Indiana.

  2. Maryann Avatar

    Once again, you’ve piqued my interest in something I’ve never heard of before! I love vinegary things anyway, so I will definitely give this a try, maybe with some of the raspberries we have growing through the neighbour’s fence. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Claire Avatar

      Mmm. Raspberries, I think, would be perfect!

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