For many years during the summer we had a pool, usually with lots of people coming in and out. We often made what we call “Party Drinks,” or mocktails, which give the summer feel of a cocktail but without alcohol. I’ve since discovered the concept of a shrub, which is a vinegar-based syrup.

A traditional beverage syrup is made with some kind of sugar – cane sugar, agave syrup, even honey – and water. To make this more blood sugar friendly I’ve substituted monk fruit in the place of sugar. For a shrub, that same traditional syrup has less water and adds vinegar in place of water. Various flavors of vinegar can be used, including red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even fruit based vinegar. Since apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, I find it fitting to use it for our Strawberry Shrub.

Once I was introduced to the shrub I made this a staple for us. I’ve made it using several different fruit but always use the staple monk fruit and apple cider vinegar. It goes well into a rocks glass, a wine glass, or any other glassware that makes you feel special. A shrub is a great way to have mocktails if you are taking a pause with alcoholic beverages and it is great for kids.

Strawberry Shrub

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup monk fruit
  • 2 cups strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. In a medium size saucepan, add water, monk fruit, and sliced strawberries.
  2. Cook on medium-high heat until it starts to bubble, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid will become a red color and the monk fruit should dissolve completely.
  3. Turn off the fire and let sit for another 10 minutes allowing the concoction to cool.
  4. Using a fine mesh sieve pour the liquid through the sieve into a 16oz jar, using a spoon to smash the strawberries removing more of the liquid from the strawberries.
  5. Add apple cider vinegar and mix well. Allow the concoction to sit at room temperature for about 24 hours, then refrigerate.
  6. When ready to use, add 1-2 oz of shrub into a rocks glass with ice, then add sparkling or plain water. Dilute to your liking.
  7. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

This process can be done with many fruits, including blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. You can also incorporate different herbs such as peppermint, spearmint, basil, and rosemary to add a little variety.

Comment below on a shrub you’d like to try.