Picture of a Shrub Cocktail

Shrub Cocktails

A shrub lends acidity and sweetness simultaneously balancing a cocktail.

Vinegar + Sugar = Sweet and tangy syrup with savory undertones

Shrubs are the result of preserving fruit, vegetable or herbs in vinegar, then sweetening the mixture with sugar. A shrub lends acidity and sweetness simultaneously balancing a cocktail. Shrubs, aka drinking vinegars, are a source of acid, a refreshing change of pace from the usual lime or lemon in your cocktail recipe.


The method of storing fruit in vinegar originated in 17th century England as a way to extend the summer season and make use of overripe produce. Shrubs can be made one of two ways resulting in a zesty piquant concentrate that is the essence of the fruit, vegetable or herb;

1.    Cover ripe fruit in vinegar, steep at room temperature for up to two weeks. Drain off the vinegar and strain the fruit so the juice and a little of the pulp come through. Add sugar.
2.    Macerate the fruit in sugar to create a syrup. Mix with an equal measure of vinegar.

Tart & Tangy Shrub Cocktails are the rage, try one at Stache 1920’s Drinking Den in the Downtown Himmarshee Entertainment District, Sweet Nectar Charcoal Grill & Bar on Las Olas or The Rebel House in Boca Raton.

Shake it up: Clover Club Cocktail
2 oz Fords Gin
3/4 oz Raspberry Shrub Syrup
3/4 oz Flower/Wheat Grass Syrup
3/4 oz Fresh Lime
Egg White
Shake all ingredients without ice to froth egg white. Shake with ice and strain up. Garnish with edible flowers and a mist of Rosewater. Created by Nick Nistico, Breakthru Beverage Florida’s Program Specialist/ Hospitality and Spirit Educator.

Pro Tip: Making a bitter drink sweeter: Flavored syrups can add depth and complexity to bitter cocktails. Sugar allowed to rest with a variety of ingredients from coffee to fruit then mixed with water to create a syrup is a delicious addition to a bitter cocktail.

Do you have a favorite cocktail that you would like to share, tag @MyMixologista on your Instagram or Twitter post. Photography By: MRA Photography

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