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Shrub, a sweetened vinegar-based syrup from which a cocktail is made. Paul Donegan, Brand Ambassador or Pickering's Gin shares his recipe for this syrup is also known as drinking vinegar!
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 700ml (serves 20 serves)
  • 1kg bag of caster sugar
  • 500ml vinegar (fruit, balsamic, white wine vinegar) but NOT malt vinegar
  • At least 500g of a fruit of your choice
  1. Get yourself a Kilner jar or a big jug. Peel your fruit if you need to and chop into approximately 2cm pieces.
  2. Place the fruit in your container and cover in sugar. Make sure the sugar coats all the fruit and leaves about half a centimetre of sugar on top. Cover and tightly seal the container then leave the mixture for at least 2 days (it doesn't need to be refrigerated).
  3. When the sugar has soaked up most of the fruit juices (you'll see it) strain the sugar syrup mixture into a saucepan. Pour at least 100ml of your vinegar into the remaining sugar in your original jar and use it to get the sugar off the bottom of the vessel. Pour the vinegar/sugar mixture into the saucepan and heat through until the sugar is totally dissolved. Throughout the heating process keep tasting the mixture and add vinegar to taste (in 25ml increments).
  4. Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has simmered for a couple of minutes, remove from the heat and leave to cool before bottling and refrigerating.
  5. You now have your very own super tasty shrub. Add it to gin and soda water or just plain soda water to make fantastic and non-alcoholic summer drinks!
  6. Remember to keep the sugared fruit as you can use it to make home flavoured gin and vodkas.
Recipe by Edinburgh Foody at