Jun 16

Summer Berry Shrub

in Drinks, Fruits & Vegetables

This post is brought to you by Harmons Grocery.

Summer Berry Shrub Spritzer

It’s time to up your summer beverage game, and I suggest that shrubs be a part of your game plan.  A shrub is a fruit and vinegar syrup that was popular during colonial America (before the invention of the refrigerator) as a delicious way to preserve fresh fruit. The syrup can be added to water, sparkling water, or cocktails. Shrubs have come back into popularity in recent years, often under the “less fancy” name of drinking vinegar. When we were in Japan a few months ago, my friend Noriko and I found a Korean pomegranate drinking vinegar, which we purchased and added to sparkling water. It was incredibly refreshing and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Fresh berries

When Harmons Grocery asked me to come up with a recipe using berries, because of Berry Mania (their yearly berry sale), I immediately thought of that drinking vinegar and decided to whip up a drink inspired by it. (If you live near a Harmons grocery store, hop on over to grab your berries for this recipe. You can mix or match 6 packages for only $10 including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, all of which are included in this drink! The deal is available through June 22nd!)

Making a berry shrub

You can make a shrub syrup using two different methods: the cold method and the cooking method. For the cold method you cover fresh berries with sugar and let it sit until a syrup forms, then strain the syrup and stir in vinegar. This delivers wonderful fresh flavors but is more time intensive. The cooking method, which is the method I’m sharing with you today, is done by cooking fresh berries in a simple syrup, then straining the syrup and stirring in vinegar. This method is much quicker and still make a delicious shrub.

Summer Berry Shrub

Once you have made your shrub, pour it into a glass bottle or jar and stick it in the refrigerator to chill. The longer you let it sit in the refrigerator, the more the shrub will mellow. My favorite way to enjoy it is to pour a couple of tablespoons into a glass filled with ice, then fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water and garnish it with a sprig of mint and some fresh berries.  Shrubs are perfect for summer because they are light and refreshing and make wonderful use of summer berries!

Summer Berry Shrub Spritzers

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Summer Berry Shrub

Makes about 3 1/2 cups (enough to make 28 spritzers)

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar (or granulated sugar)
4 ounces strawberries, chopped into large pieces
4 ounces blueberries
4 ounces raspberries
4 ounces blackberries
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1. Combine the water and the sugar in a large saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved completely.

2. Add the berries, let the liquid come to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the fruit syrup to steep and cool for about 10 minutes.

3. Strain the syrup into a large (non-metal) bowl and then stir in the vinegar. Let the syrup sit and cool for about 10 minutes before pouring into glass jars, covering, and putting into the refrigerator to chill.

To make a Summer Berry Shrub Spritzer:

Fill a tall glass about three-quarters full with ice, add two tablespoons of summer berry shrub, then fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water (or seltzer water) and garnish with fresh berries and a sprig of fresh mint.

Making berry shrub spritzers


*Disclosure: I was compensated by Harmons Grocery for my time in developing this recipe and writing this post. All experiences and opinions are my own!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen June 17, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Yay!! You were able to get your comments fixed! I felt sick for you when I saw that on Snapchat. This looks SO GOOD. I’ve never heard of drinking vinegar. I just googled it and there’s a ton out there. Have I been living under a rock? Anyways, we love all things berries, so I can’t wait to try this!


Fuji Mama (Rachael) June 20, 2016 at 9:06 pm

Yay!! Let me know if you make some!


sally June 20, 2016 at 5:25 pm

I am drinking my version of one right now Rachel. And so is my husband, and he can’t believe how good it is. SOO refreshing. I did not use any sugar ;). Used berry stevia. Will have to post my version soon, as we have to get these introduced to everyone. They are so good! Love your photos in this one. I may have to copy your photo style for my post if you don’t mind and credit you wtih the idea. Going hunting for pretty glasses ASAP. I use Pellegrino too. I discovered these a few years ago and have wanted to post. No you have inspired me! Thanks!


Fuji Mama (Rachael) June 20, 2016 at 9:08 pm

Of course you can use the photo style! I’ve tried a few other sugars/sugar substitutes so far and haven’t found one I love except for the coconut sugar. I can’t do Stevia (I wish I could!) because the aftertaste is so bitter. I can’t wait to see your version!! XOXO


sally June 21, 2016 at 11:17 pm

have you tried the Sweet Leaf Sweet Drops? Liquid, flavored, amazing? Not bitter like regular stevia. We love them! I must have 6-8 flavors. Try them! Vanilla, chocolate, berry, lemon, coconut, peppermint, pumpkin spice. I think you will be surprised ;)


Fuji Mama (Rachael) June 22, 2016 at 11:11 am

I have…I still can’t take the aftertaste! I read something recently about some people being more sensitive to the aftertaste. I guess I must be one of those people. I wish I wasn’t, because stevia has so much to offer!!


Jill Stanmeier July 1, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Just put the ingredients for this on my shopping list!


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