Ditch the soda! Shrub recipes, like this pomegranate-grape version, are lip-smacking, thirst-quenching, and easy to make.
This winter my husband and I participated in Dry January. It only took a couple of days to realize that we missed our evening glass of wine. It wasn’t so much the wine itself that was missing, but the excuse to sit and savor at the end of a long day. A glass of wine almost insists that you slow down and relax. We searched for an appropriate substitute. Alcohol-free wine was terrible. Decaf coffee didn’t do it for us either. Kombucha was a nice option, as was this tangy pomegranate-grape shrub recipe.
What is a Shrub?
Shrub syrups are basically a combination of sugar, fruit, and apple cider vinegar. You then mix the syrup with water or sparkling water to make a shrub drink. Shrubs have been around since the colonial days, and were popular in the days when one couldn’t be sure the drinking water was safe.
How to Make a Shrub
It’s super easy to make a shrub, and they can be made with almost any fruit. Basically, you combine four cups of chopped fruit with 2 cups of sugar. Stir, cover, and let sit on the counter for a few days, stirring the mixture every now and then. Once the sugar has completely melted, strain the fruit and keep the syrup. Then add an equal amount of vinegar.
How to Make a Shrub Syrup Drink
Make a refreshing drink by adding 3-4 tablespoons of syrup to a glass of ice water or sparkling water. Or use the syrup to make fancy, non-alcoholic cocktails.
Shrub Fruit Variations
As mentioned above, you can make shrubs from any type of fruit, although in-season fruit will yield the best flavor. For this particular shrub I chose a combination of pomegranate and black grapes, but I have made sweet cherry shrub before, as well as a strawberry-raspberry shrub. All three varieties make an assertive, flavor-forward shrub, while pear, apple, or apricot shrub is more delicate.
- 1 large pomegranate arils removed
- 1 cup chopped black grapes
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- Add pomegranate arils and chopped grapes to a bowl or large-mouth jar.
- Pour sugar over all. Toss to combine.
- Cover with a paper towel or cheesecloth and rubber band.
- Let sit on counter for 2-4 days, stirring occasionally until the sugar melts.
- Strain the mixture into a bowl. Discard solids.
- Measure syrup. Return to jar.
- Add an equal measure of vinegar. Stir to combine.
- Store in refrigerator for up to 3 months.