Worth the Wait: How (and why!) to Create a Cocktail Shrub

In January, when the hustle of the holidays has faded and time slows down for winter, a cocktail requiring a bit more patience than the average soda + spirit reminds us that good things are worth waiting for. 
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While imparting tons of flavor, a shrub cocktail requires little skill or hands-on preparation.  A shrub is a digestion-aiding mixture of fruit and vinegars left for about 2 weeks to mature and mellow. Once ready, it can be mixed with nearly any liquor for a delicious cocktail, or added to club soda for a nutritious mocktail. 

My Favorite Pear and Ginger Shrub recipe (by Michael Dietsch)


6 ripe pears (about 1.5 pounds) cored and cut into chunks (peel is ok)
2/3 cup fresh grated ginger
1 cup sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar

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Day 1

Place pears, ginger and sugar into a small bowl, crush fruit with a wooden spoon, stir to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge, allowing the fruit and sugar to macerate for 1 day

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Day 2

Strain this mixture through a fine mesh strainer, removing solids. Combine strained syrup wit vinegar, whisk to dissolve any unincorporated sugar. Pour into a clean mason jar, cap it, and shake it. Place it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Taste the shrub as you go until you reach the desired sweetness.

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Day 7-14 

Mix 3 oz of shrub with 1-2 oz of club soda and 1.5 oz of vodka, gin, or bourbon for a classic, quick cocktail, or mix 1/2 oz of shrub with 4 oz of white wine or champagne for a lighter tipple.  Start simple, then play with these flavors!  Add a shrub in classic cocktail recipes in place of fresh squeezed juices for an infinite number of options.January

In a world of 15-minute ready dinners and pre-made margarita mixes, spending time preparing a shrub encourages one to slow down and let time and nature mingle flavors. Once given the opportunity to develop, a shrub lasts indefinitely in the fridge, preserving the flavor for seasons to come.

Blog by Belinda Kelly
Dreamer and cocktail enthusiast, Belinda is the proud owner of the Happy Camper Cocktail Company, a "garden to glass" beverage caterer in Seattle, WA. With duties spanning from recipe creation and testing to draft system design to social media, Belinda is a busy and well hydrated individual. Follow her on Instagram @happycampercocktails.
Photos by Markie Wheeler-Jones
Markie is a PNW Wedding photographer, mother to two adorable little fireball girls and two rather overactive dogs and loves to find new adventures around the Bonney Lake area. She enjoys photographing intimate engagement sessions and weddings throughout the Greater Seattle Area. Connect with her on Instagram @markiejonesphotographyllc.