Rhubarb Shrub Recipe

3/4 / cup
12 hr 5 min

Welcome to the beautiful world of shrub recipes! If you've never heard of a rhubarb shrub before, it's essentially a drinking vinegar. This post will explain exactly what a shrub is and how to make a fantastic rhubarb shrub recipe that you can use in cocktails or food!

The great thing about shrubs is that they are a simple way to add a little zing to your drinks and food. They are made using vinegar, fruit or vegetable juice, and sugar.

In recent years, shrubs have been popularized by cocktail bars but can be used for more than just cocktails—they're great on ice cream, in cocktails, or with vegetables!

What is a shrub?

A shrub is a vinegar-based syrup. It'sIt's steeped with fruit, sugar and aromatics to create a sweet and tart treat that can be added to drinks for flavor or eaten on its own.

The word "shrub" dates back to the 17th century when it referred to a medicinal vinegar tincture made by infusing herbs and spices with wine or vinegar. You can read more about how they were used as medicine here (and get some great recipes).

Today we use shrubs in much the same way: they make great additions to cocktails like an old-fashioned or negroni, but they also make great sipping drinks—like lemonade!

Because of the tangy nature of vinegar (and sometimes citrus juice), you don't need much for them to pop into your mouth; just a splash will do!

Why this recipe?

In the summertime, rhubarb is one of the only things in my garden that can grow. It's also a great way to use up extra fruit and veg from your garden if you have one.

Rhubarb shrub is a fantastic way to add flavor to drinks, ice creams, and desserts. I love using it as an ingredient in cocktails or even straight from the bottle as a refreshing drink on its own! Never had rhubarb and wondering what it tastes like? I've got that info too.



You can use any rhubarb for this recipe, but I like to use red. The red variety is just a little sweeter than the green variety. I also want to use organic if possible.

If you can't find organic, don't worry about it too much; just make sure that whatever you buy hasn't been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. For example, if you're buying from a farmer's market, ask the farmer if they spray their crops with chemicals or not. You may need to go through multiple stalls before finding someone who doesn't treat their products with chemicals.


You can use whatever vinegar you like here — wine, sherry, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar— but my personal favorite for this recipe is white balsamic vinegar because it has just the right sweetness and acidity. The sugar helps balance out the tartness of the rhubarb, so you don't need much.


A jar that can hold about 2 cups of liquid (we recommend a wide-mouth mason jar)

A strainer that fits into the mouth of your jar (if you don't have one, you can use cheesecloth or something similar)


Rhubarb shrub is a simple but delicious way to preserve the rhubarb season. Rhubarb shrub is made by mixing rhubarb with sugar and allowing it to sit overnight, then straining the mixture into a jar and adding vinegar. It's as easy as that! You can use any kind of vinegar you have on hand—wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white balsamic vinegar are all great choices.

To make rhubarb shrub:

Wash rhubarb, then chop it into 1-inch pieces. Combine the chopped rhubarb with sugar in a mason jar or bowl with a lid and stir until combined and add a cover.

Let the rhubarb mixture sit overnight at room temperature (this will give your shrub flavor time to develop) and the sugar to draw out the existing liquid in the fruit.

The next day, strain the rhubarb-sugar mixture through a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl (don't press down on the solids—just let gravity do its work), and then add in your vinegar over the rhubarb syrup and mix to incorporate.

Lastly, transfer the shrub to a clean jar or container and refrigerate. Pour some in a glass and top with seltzer water and enjoy!

How to use a rhubarb shrub

Once you have your shrub, there are many different ways to enjoy it.

  • Straight up: Obviously, one of the best ways to drink shrub is just by itself. Pour yourself a glass and enjoy!
  • On ice: Adding ice cubes will make the shrub colder and more refreshing.
  • With soda water: This is a great way to add some carbonation without sugar or sweeteners. Just pour some soda water into your glass or bottle of shrub, then enjoy! You can use regular sparkling water instead if you'd like something less sweet—it's up to you!
  • This combination gives off an incredible flavor with ginger beer due to the spiciness between both ingredients (ginger being one of the rhubarb's closest cousins). The ginger beer also adds an extra layer of carbonation, which makes it even better than just adding soda water alone would do for me personally; however, if this doesn't sound appealing, then skip ahead—there are plenty more options below too!

Recipe variations

  • Use your favorite fruits. Rhubarb shrub is excellent with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. You can also mix in citruses like oranges or lemons. You could even add figs!
  • Use your favorite sweetener. Sugar is usually used to sweeten rhubarb shrub, but honey or maple syrup are other options worth trying out (just check their shelf lives). Brown sugar adds a deeper caramel flavor that works well if you're using berries as the fruit base for your shrub—but it doesn't lend its flavor quite as well if you're using citrus fruits like oranges or lemons.*
  • Try different kinds of vinegar for a different taste profile: apple cider vinegar has a more subtle sweetness than red wine vinegar; white wine vinegar is milder than either of them; balsamic vinegar has its own distinct character that makes it stand out from all the rest.* If you don't want alcohol in your shrub, simply substitute water for whatever type of liquor you've chosen.* Experiment with different herbs and spices—this will give each batch an entirely new flavor profile!
Recipe serving suggestions

For a delicious cocktail, combine Rhubarb Shrub with gin or vodka and lime juice for an old-fashioned.

Try combining Rhubarb Shrub with seltzer water or club soda and a splash of lime juice for a non-alcoholic drink for a mocktail.

Mix together 1 cup plain yogurt and 1 cup frozen strawberries for a smoothie. Pour into a blender along with ¾ cup orange juice and 2 tablespoons Rhubarb Shrub (or more to taste). Blend until smooth.

Or try adding the rhubarb shrub to salad dressings for added flavor!

This rhubarb shrub recipe will make your drinks and food taste incredible.

If you're not familiar with shrub, it's a syrup made from fruit, vinegar, and sugar. It'sIt's a great way to preserve fruit and add flavor to drinks and food.

The rhubarb shrub recipe in this post will make your drinks and food taste incredible. I promise! I hope you enjoy this super easy rhubarb shrub recipe. Let me know what drinks you like to make with it!

how do you make make shrub?

Shrubs are fruit-based drinks that were originally used to preserve fruit for the winter months. Nowadays, though, shrubs are mostly served as an alcoholic beverage. They're commonly made with vinegar, sugar, and fruit, and the mixture can be stored in a bottle for months at a time.

What's a quick shrub recipe?

Rhubarb shrub recipes often use equal parts sugar and vinegar.

Are vinegar shrubs healthy?

Vinegar shrubs are rich in vitamin C, which helps boost immunity by increasing the production of white blood cells.

They also contain potassium which has been shown to help prevent high blood pressure and stroke risk factors such as high cholesterol levels.

📖 Recipe
Recipe details
  • 3/4  / cup
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 12 Hours Total time: 12 hr 5 min
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  • ½ cup of rhubarb
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

In a mason jar or bowl with a lid, combine the chopped rhubarb with sugar and stir until combined.
Add cover and let sit overnight at room temperature (this will give your shrub flavor time to develop).
The next day, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl (don't press down on the solids—just let gravity do its work), then add in vinegar over the syrup and mix to incorporate.
Lastly, transfer the shrub to a clean jar or container and refrigerate.
Stephanie | Slow Living Kitchen
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