Put Summer Berries to Use by Making Shrub Syrup

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Use shrub syrup to make refreshing drinks. Photo: Flickr/quinn.anya

Use shrub syrup to make tangy, refreshing drinks. Photo: Flickr/quinn.anya

Just because summer is coming to an end, you don’t have to part ways with the delicious fruits of the season. In fact, this is a perfect time to give those summer berries a second chance in the kitchen by making your own shrub syrup.

Shrub syrup is an old favorite that has made a big comeback this year. When mixed with water or alcohol, the fruit-and-vinegar concoction is transformed into a refreshing beverage and is a great way to use seasonal fruit before it goes bad.

While you can make shrub syrup with virtually any fruit, right now is a good time to use strawberries, blueberries and blackberries — anything that might otherwise be wasted because it’s on the verge of spoiling is a good candidate.

Ready to try it out for yourself? Here’s an easy recipe, created by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Feel free to adjust the amount of fruit, sugar and vinegar based on your personal taste.


  • 2 cups fruit
  • 1 pint vinegar
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups sugar (white, brown or raw)

Place your fruit in a glass container with a lid (a mason jar is perfect). Heat the vinegar to just below boiling, about 190 to 200 degrees, then pour it over the fruit, leaving about ¼ inch at the top. Cap tightly and place it in a cool, dark place like a cupboard or refrigerator.

Let it stand undisturbed for at least 24 hours and up to four weeks, depending on how much flavor you’d like. Then, strain the vinegar through cheesecloth and place it in a saucepan along with the sugar. (Keep the fruit for use in other dishes.)

Bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil, remove from heat and, after it’s cooled, pour into a glass jar. It can last up to six months refrigerated.

To use, mix 1 tablespoon of syrup into a glass of water or with alcohol — and enjoy.

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