cranberry shrub

A shrub... you may be wondering if we have completely lost it and have resigned ourselves to creating recipes that incorporate outdoor coniferous materials. A shrub is an outdoor plant that we all can agree upon, however the type of shrub I would like you to introduce you to is a delicious concoction of tart cranberries, acidic vinegar and sugar. The result is an infused base you can use in combination with club soda for a non-alcoholic holiday beverage or combine with your favorite scotch, whiskey or barrel aged gin.

Shrubs are vinegar based fruit infusions that are sweetened to cut the highly acid flavor. Shrubs have roots in many countries dating back centuries. It is often the drink of choice in climates that are extremely hot and the water is not considered palatable. The drink was easily transported and held well in even the most unsanitary conditions. Which is why many transport and cargo ships would stock multiple bottles of the infusions on their journeys. The ship captains were often quoted with stating that if the shrub didn’t quench the shipmate’s thirst they could certainly use the infusion as a cleaner to swab the decks. I do not know if I would clean my floors with a vinegar based, sugar and fruit cocktail. I am almost certain your shoes would stick to the floors and ants would invade your home. Cranberry shrub would definitely grace my table at Thanksgiving and winter holiday celebrations.

Many traditional shrub recipes do not include vanilla beans but we are a vanilla company that loves to incorporate them into just about everything!! Our Tahitian vanilla bean are fruity, with hints of licorice and caramel. The vanilla bean mellows out the acidic flavor of the vinegar and highlights the fruity aspects of the cranberry.

Cranberry Vanilla Shrub Recipe

Yields 3 cups


  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 Tahitian vanilla bean (cut and scraped)

Add the cranberries, vinegar, vanilla bean caviar and sugar to a blender. Blend until you have a chunky purée. Cover and let it sit out on the kitchen counter for 2 days. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Dump the cranberry mixture into the strainer. Use the back of a large spoon or a spatula to squeeze as much of the liquid from the fruit as possible. Discard the fruit.

Transfer the shrub to a glass container or bottle, cover tightly, and store, refrigerated, for up to 1 year.