Blueberry Basil Shrub

Source: Michael Carlisi, Barrio

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

Shrubs are a fun way to spice up your home beverages for yourself or for some guests if you’re hosting a party. They’re great with soda water, tonics, or even a great addition in coming up with a cocktail. They are tangy, sweet, sour, fruity and herbaceous. Making your own shrubs is easy, and the flavor possibilities are endless. The process is similar to making simple syrup or infusions, and there are two methods: cold and warm. With either approach, the first step is to choose an ingredient to create your shrub. This Blueberry Basil Shrub is cold-processed.

This recipe was demonstrated at the Foodwise Classroom on April 27, 2024.

Serves 8


2 cups seasonal fruit (Berries are a favorite shrub fruit, though you can use almost any fruit. Apples, figs, pears, plums, and even cucumbers or rhubarb are good options.)
2 cups vinegar (The majority of shrubs are made with apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. Some use balsamic vinegar. While distilled white vinegar is fine as well.)
1 bunch seasonal herbs and/or 1 tbsp spices, optional (Basil, fennel, peppercorns, rosemary, and thyme are just a few that regularly appear in shrubs.)
2 cups sugar (Experiment with the type of sugar. One may work better with a particular fruit-vinegar combination than others. White granulated sugar is perfectly fine to use. Some shrub makers prefer raw sugars like turbinado or demerara or even regular brown sugar.)


Add 2 cups of blueberries (or other fruit of choice), and 2 cups vinegar, along with 1 bunch basil (or other herb of choice), softly muddle in a jar and close with a tight-fitting lid.

Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Allow it to infuse at room temperature for about one week, giving it a good shake once a day.

Strain out the solids through a double layer of cheesecloth and pour into a clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Add 2 cups of sugar and shake until it is completely dissolved.

Refrigerate for about one week (more or less time to taste) and add more sugar or vinegar if needed to taste. Once made, store shrubs in the refrigerator for up to six months and use as a mixer for your favorite drinks.

Strawberry Ginger Mint Shrub (Hot)

Heat 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of vinegar on the stove, constantly stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Add 1 cup cut and cleaned strawberries (or other fruit), 1 bunch of trimmed and washed mint (or other herb) and 1 cup chopped and peeled ginger and simmer for about five minutes to release the juices and flavors into the syrup.

Remove from the heat and cool the mixture.

Strain out solids through a double layer of cheesecloth or paper towel.

Bottle into a clean glass jar and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for two to four days before mixing into drinks. Add more sugar or vinegar to taste. Once made, store shrubs in the refrigerator for up to six months and use as a mixer for your favorite drinks.

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