If you want to make your drinks as refreshing as possible for summer, turn to this Blueberry Shrub recipe! It’s a tangy preserved fruit syrup made from 4 simple ingredients and is the perfect partner to sunny days and soda water.
Homemade blueberry shrub recipe
If you’re new to the fruit shrub syrup world, you’re in for a treat! This Blueberry Shrub recipe is particularly perfect for summer and easy to make with fresh berries, basil, sugar, and vinegar. After a 1 week preservation time, this delicious shrub drink is ready to be enjoyed!
Just like flavored simple syrup, berry shrubs add a hint of balancing flavors to cocktails and mixed drinks. I love it mixed in with a tall glass of sparkling water! It has that refreshing burst of berry goodness that’s a must during the hot summer weather.
What is shrub syrup?
Shrub syrup (or drinking vinegar) is a definite must in the creative’s kitchen. It’s a non-alcoholic preserved fruit syrup made with fruit, sugar, and vinegar. When using the cold-pressed method, it takes at least 1 week for the fruity, tangy flavors to get to know each other. Afterward, use the syrup to enhance sparkling cocktails and refreshing summer bevvies.
What is shrub made of?
- Blueberries - Technically, you can make a shrub with any type of berry or fruit. Blueberries are one of my favorites, especially for summer. You’ll see cartons of seasonal berries pop up in grocery stores and farmer’s markets during the middle and end of summer here in the US, which are sure to give your shrub the very best flavors.
- Sugar - Granulated white sugar is best but turbinado sugar, caster sugar, or demerara sugar should work as well.
- Basil - Fresh basil leaves give the finished shrub an unmatched aromatic flavor that’s perfect on hot summer days.
- Apple cider vinegar - All shrub recipes are made with vinegar as it’s the key to preserving the fruit syrup and gives it its signature tart finish. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, replace it with another mild flavored vinegar like white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or champagne vinegar. Don’t use white vinegar as it’s too sour and acidic.
- Fruit muddler - If you don’t have a muddler, use the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher instead.
- Straining Utensil -You can use cheesecloth, a nut milk bag or a mesh strainer here!
- Airtight containers - To store the blueberries, basil and sugar while they macerate.
- Bottles - To store the shrub in the fridge.
How to make blueberry shrub
You can make shrub syrup two ways: the hot way and the cold way. This recipe uses the cold way, which is lengthier, but truer to a classic shrub. Putting in the time and patience is so worth it because the finished berry shrub is beautifully flavored! Plus, the method is practically foolproof:
Step 1: Muddle the berries. Place the blueberries in a small bowl and muddle them until there aren’t any whole berries left.
Step 2: Let the berries macerate. Stir the sugar and basil leaves in with the muddled blueberries. Transfer to an airtight container and let the berries macerate for 1 day.
Step 3: Squeeze out the juice. Use cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to strain the macerated blueberries the next day. Squeeze out as much blueberry juice as possible.
Step 4: Let the juice and vinegar mingle. Pour the vinegar in with the blueberry juice. Cover the container and keep it in the fridge for 1 week.
Step 5: Serve and enjoy! The shrub is ready to use after 1 week and can be enjoyed as-is with soda water or in cocktails. Enjoy!
Tips and tricks
- What to do with the leftover berries - Either discard the macerated berries or toss them in a pot of simmering water and sugar to make blueberry and basil simple syrup.
- If the syrup doesn’t look clear - Strain the blueberries twice or three times total to remove as many solids as possible.
Ways to use blueberry shrub syrup
The best way to serve blueberry shrub is to stir 1 or 2 tablespoons in a glass filled with ice and soda water. Top with fresh blueberries and basil, then enjoy!
Craving an adult beverage? Add 1 to 1.5 ounces of gin, vodka, tequila, or white rum to the glass.
Frequently asked questions
Shrub syrup is fruity, tart, and refreshing. It takes on whatever flavor it’s made with (blueberries and basil in this case!) and has a subtle punchy finish from the vinegar.
Yes. Just make sure they’re fully thawed before you muddle the berries.
Replicate this recipe with your favorite berry or fruit, or use what’s in season. Elevate the flavors by adding in aromatics, like ginger, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, mint, or citrus zest.
Once it’s ready, the blueberry shrub will last for at least 3 months when stored in a sealed jar in the fridge. Make sure it isn’t bubbling or fermenting as it sits. These are tell-tale signs that the shrub has gone bad.
Use your shrub in these recipes and more
- Blueberry Gin Sour
- Violet & St Germain Spritz
- Basil & Lillet Spritz
- Blackberry & Lilac Gin Gimlet
- Roasted Strawberry Lemonade
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try this berry shrub recipe, please share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest - for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Basil & Blueberry Shrub
- Muddler or Potato Masher or Spoon
- Air Tight Container
- Cheese cloth, mesh strainer or nut bag
- Bottle/Container for Shrub
- Glass for serving
- 2 cups (300 g) Blueberries, muddled
- 1 cup (200 g) Granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (6 g) Basil
- 1 cup Apple cider vinegar
- Soda water
- Fresh blueberries and basil for serving
- Muddle blueberries in a small bowl until they’ve significantly broken down and there are no whole berries left.2 cups Blueberries
- Add granulated sugar and basil leaves, stirring to combine.1 cup Granulated sugar, ¼ cup Basil
- Place mixture in an airtight container and allow the berries to macerate for 24 hours.
- The next day, strain the blueberries through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth squeezing tightly to release as much juice as possible.
- Add vinegar to the blueberry juice and allow the mixture to chill in the fridge for one week so that the ingredients start to mesh and mellow out together.1 cup Apple cider vinegar
- Serve as desired - I enjoy adding a few tablespoons of my blueberry shrub to soda water, top with fresh blueberries and basil for a refreshing summer beverage!Soda water, Fresh blueberries and basil for serving
- What does shrub taste like? Shrub syrup is fruity, tart, and refreshing. It takes on whatever flavor it’s made with (blueberries and basil in this case!) and has a subtle punchy finish from the vinegar.
- Can you use frozen blueberries? Yes. Just make sure they’re fully thawed before you muddle the berries.
- What else can you use to make shrubs? Replicate this recipe with your favorite berry or fruit, or use what’s in season. Elevate the flavors by adding in aromatics, like ginger, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, mint, or citrus zest.
- How long does shrub last? Once it’s ready, the blueberry shrub will last for at least 3 months when stored in a sealed jar in the fridge. Make sure it isn’t bubbling or fermenting as it sits. These are tell-tale signs that the shrub has gone bad.
blueberry shrub - 300g blueberries - 2 cups, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup ac vinegar, ¼ cup basil
sit for 24 hours (noon tomorrow) add vinegar and chill in fridge for. aweek