I think vinegar is one of those ingredients that you either love or hate, like cilantro (yuck) or avocado (yum). I happen to love vinegar and the acidic bite it brings to recipes.
But it wasn’t until last year that I ever heard of “drinking vinegar.” I’ve heard of drinking a little apple cider vinegar to help with weight loss, but that is too much even for me.
Drinking vinegars, also called shrubs, have that wonderful vinegar-y taste, but are mellowed a but through the addition of other ingredients – typically fruit and sugar. They are super easy to make, and you can experiment with flavors to figure out what you like best.
When you’re ready to drink, add one part shrub to 4 parts seltzer water, lemon-lime soda, or sparkling wine. So, if you’re making one serving, do 1/4 cup of the shrub with 1 cup of your base liquid. If you love vinegar like I do, add an extra splash.
It’s a refreshing drink in the summer. My recipe for blueberry shrub is listed below, but again you can play with flavors! Try just about any fruit that is in season (or mix fruits), and adjust the sugar level based on the fruit’s sweetness. You can also play with ingredients like mint, basil, and ginger. Make this recipe your own!
But definitely use the reusable submarine ice cubes that I used in my photos. They really make the recipe.
A refreshing old-fashioned drink that is easy to make at home with a little patience.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 water
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- seltzer water, lemon-lime soda, or sparkling wine
- Heat sugar and water in small saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Add the blueberries and cook to release the juices, muddling the berries with a spoon to get as much juice as possible.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Add apple cider vinegar to fruit mixture. Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
- Strain and serve 1 part vinegar to 4 parts seltzer water, lemon-lime soda, or sparkling wine.
Experiment with other fruits and ingredients such as ginger, citrus peel, peppercorn, mint, and basil.
Try your shrug recipe with another flavor of vinegar to complement your fruits. Red wine vinegar and even balsamic vinegar can work well.
So if you’re getting ready to argue with me in the comments… listen, I know, I know. This is probably not how YOU make shrubs. If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my shrub research, it’s that everyone has their own process, and that everyone thinks that THEIR process is the best. After experimenting, this is the recipe and process that I like, especially for blueberries. But seriously, there is no right or wrong way! I encourage you to experiment not only with flavors, but also with your shrub-making process.
Looking for more unique, tasty drink recipes to quench your thirst? Here are a few to try: