Calling all cocktail, kombucha, preservers, and soda fans…I’ve got a sour cherry shrub that is sure to knock your socks off! Cocktail shrubs don’t always use alcohol, and I’ve been loving an ice-cold shrub mocktail when I get home from work. Step by step photo instructions below…
What is a shrub and how to use it…
A shrub is a vinegared syrup that is most commonly used in beverages. You can mix a shrub into cocktails or with water. I like to drink mine with sparkling water…it is almost kombucha-like, and I get to enjoy it as a fun, after work mocktail. I also use shrubs in these 4 ways:
Sour Cherry Shrub Mocktail: Add 1-2 tbsp of the shrub to 1 cup of sparkling or flat water. Serve over ice.
Salad Dressings: Mix a little of the shrub with some olive oil, salt, and pepper to make a unique and delicious salad dressing. 1 part shrub, 3 parts olive oil.
Cocktails: Use the shrub instead of regular simple syrup.
Marinades: Mix a few tablespoons of the shrub into your marinade, or use the shrub as a glaze for meat & poultry.
How to make a shrub – with step by step photo instructions
I show how to pit the sour cherries in my recipe for sour cherry gin limeade.
Muddle together the cherries and sugar. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
Add the apple cider vinegar (photo 1). Muddle well (photo 2). Transfer to a quart-sized jar or container (photo 3). Cover and refrigerate for 2 days.
After the 2 days, open your jar and muddle again, very well (photo 1). Strain and discard the skins (photo 2). Use your hands to squeeze out as much of the shrub liquid as possible (photo 3). Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator (photo 4).
To enjoy a shrub mocktail, mix 1 tbsp of the shrub with 1 cup of sparkling water. Serve over ice.
Sour Cherry Shrub FAQ
- Where do you find sour cherries? Try the farmers market or a middle eastern grocery store.
- If you do not have apple cider vinegar, you can substitute for champagne vinegar.
- The shrub can sit in the Calling all cocktail, kombucha, preservers, and soda fans…I’ve got a sour cherry shrub that is sure to knock your socks off! Cocktail shrubs don’t always use alcohol, and I’ve been loving an ice-cold shrub mocktail when I get home from work. #mocktail #sourcherry #shrub #cocktail #vinegar for up to a week, so if you forget about it after the 2 resting days, it is OK.
- A shrub does not have to be refrigerated but prefer to refrigerate them. They can last for years. I have some shrub in my refrigerator from a large batch I made two years ago and still use it regularly.
- Save the discarded cherry skins. They are delicious in salads or grains like rice & farro. You can also use them as a relish over duck, grilled steak, or chicken!
Equipment used to make this sour cherry shrub
Shop my favorite mortar and pestle here!
You can preserve/can your shrub to enjoy the sour cherry season for years to come! PLEASE make sure you properly sterilize your containers and store them in a dark, cool place. Shop my favorite jars here!
Other sour cherry recipes you’ll love
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Sour Cherry Shrub
- Mortar & Pestle
- 2 cups sour cherries destemmed and pitted
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar or sub. champagne vinegar
- Muddle together the cherries and sugar. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Add the apple cider vinegar. Muddle well. Transfer to a quart-sized jar or container. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days.
- After the 2 days, open your jar and muddle again, very well. Strain and discard the skins. Use your hands to squeeze out as much of the shrub liquid as possible Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
This post was originally published in August of 2018, but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, and tips September of 2019.