Boris Mann’s Personal Blog

Dec 2012


Cocktail 101: How to Make Shrub Syrups | Serious Eats: Drinks.

Hanging out with Lee & Sachi in Seattle, we dove into the world of shrubs:

In any case, the sugar, acid, and optional alcohol preserve the fruit juice, and in fact that was one original purpose of the shrub. Prior to the invention of refrigeration, a shrub syrup was a means of preserving fruit long past its picking. Shrubs were popular in Colonial America, mixed with cool water to provide a pick-me-up on hot summer days.


A proper shrub has a flavor that’s both tart and sweet, so it stimulates the appetite while quenching thirst.

I ordered one at The Walrus and the Carpenter, a pretty fantastic oyster bar in Ballard where we had dinner.

This got me thinking about drinking vinegars, which is somewhat a name for the syrup + vinegar that you make shrubs from. We had some in Vancouver  at The Union which was fantastic.

So, Lee and I concocted a shrub syrup from 2 oranges simmered in simple syrup and then added some sherry vinegar.

Lee made up a drink with Averna in it and some soda. It was pretty delicious, especially when we kept amping up the amount of sherry vinegar.

Yep, I’m a fan. And to think, it’s supposedly a summer drink.

Update July 5, 2020: I’ve gone on to make many more shrubs / drinking vinegars. Browse the AllTheBest.Recipes shrub tag »