With its refreshing sweet-tart taste this berry and hibiscus shrub is a thirst-quenching, healthier alternative to soda.
With the temperature on the rise these days, I’ve been finding myself craving an icy-cold drink to quench my ever increasing thirst with. Of course there’s the usual summer go-tos like lemonade and iced tea but lately it’s been this strawberry berry shrub that’s come to the rescue when I’m feeling parched.
What is a shrub drink?
If you’ve never had a shrub before (also called drinking vinegar) it’s an incredibly refreshing non-alcoholic beverage made from vinegar spiked fruit syrup. Sweet/tart and quite gulpable on a hot day, a shrub is the perfect summer drink.
Now if the thought of drinking vinegar makes you wrinkle your nose, fear not, a shrub is really quite wonderful and not at all sharp or overly sour. The fruit and sweetener mellows out the harsh qualities of the vinegar while leaving it’s refreshing and palate cleansing acidity, which is just what you need on a hot day.
If you’ve had an Italian soda before, then you’ll love a shrub soda. Just add a few spoonfuls of shrub syrup to a glass of sparkling water and you have an all-natural soda that’s hard to beat.
How to make a shrub:
- There are two basic ways to make a shrub: cold process or hot. I’ve chosen the hot process for this hibiscus berry shrub since cooking the fruit enhances the jammy flavor of the berries and intensifies the flavor of the resulting syrup.
- For this berry shrub recipe I’ve chosen red berries like strawberries, raspberries and dried goji berries. I’ve also added hibiscus for its tart, cranberry- like flavor and deep red color when brewed.
- All you do is cook down the berries and hibiscus with a sweetener like maple syrup or honey until syrupy, then stir in some apple cider vinegar, and strain into a glass bottle. The resulting syrup keeps well in the fridge and can be added to either flat or sparkling water when ready to drink and poured over ice for a thirst-quenching drink.
The balance of sweet/tart and bright flavors of the berries will take plain water to a whole new level. Give it a try and it just might become your new favorite summer drink as well!
More vinegar based drinks to check out:
With its refreshing sweet-tart taste this berry hibiscus shrub is a thirst-quenching alternative to soda.
- ½ cup/70g fresh or frozen raspberries
- ½ cup/70g fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 Tablespoons/28g dried goji berries
- ½ cup/120ml light maple syrup (or honey for a non-vegan version)
- ½ cup/120ml filtered water
- 1 hibiscus flower tea bag
- ½ cup/120ml apple cider vinegar
- Still or sparkling water for serving
- Place berries, maple syrup, water and hibiscus tea in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer gently over medium to low heat, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes or until mixture has reduced and is syrupy.
- Add apple cider vinegar, remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer pressing gently on solids. Pour syrup glass bottle and chill until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve place 2 Tablespoons of syrup in the bottom of a glass add crushed ice and top with ½ cup of still or sparkling water for a shrub soda.
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Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar With the Mother– USDA Certified Organic – Raw, Unfiltered All Natural Ingredients, 16 ounce, 2 Pack
Alvita Organic Hibiscus Herbal Tea - Made with Premium Quality Organic Hibiscus Calyces, with Refreshing Tart Flavor and Floral Aroma, 24 Tea Bags
Navitas Organics Goji Berries, 4 oz. Bag, 4 Servings - Organic, Non-GMO, Sun-Dried, Sulfite-Free
Serving Size:2 Tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 48Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.