5 Ingredients or Fewer

Raspberry Shrub (aka Drinking Vinegar)

July  6, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Makes about 3 cups
Author Notes

I've been a bit obsessed with drinking vinegar since a recent dinner outing to Ping, one of chef Andy Ricker's local restaurants. At Ping you can get a wide variety of Asian-style drinking vinegars mixed with seltzer, as well as incorporated into cocktails. They make a delightfully tart soda - with the tang of the vinegar hitting you first, and the fruit finishing on the palate. For this version I used fresh raspberries with a little lemongrass to complement the berry flavor. I've also made strawberry (yum), watermelon-lychee (meh), and cherry-ginger (yum.) There is a lot of room for experimentation, so don't be afraid to give it a go! - hardlikearmour —hardlikearmour

Test Kitchen Notes

Hardlikearmour’s Raspberry Shrub intrigued me. Admittedly, my palate tends toward the sour and tangy. Luckily, I found coconut vinegar easily. By far, the hardest part about making this is waiting. Finally, three days later, as my shrub cooked down, I tasted just a bit, as hardlikearmour suggests, and ended up adding an extra ¼-cup of sugar. Topped with sparkling water, the shrub is refreshing and full of tart raspberry flavor and aroma. The tang from the vinegar pops on your palate in a delightful, can’t-wait-to-take-another-sip kind of way. Raspberries are the perfect match for this kind of vinegar cordial. Not only does this taste good, but also you feel good drinking it. I look forward to experimenting and enjoying this lovely drinking vinegar. Thanks hardlikearmour for a wonderfully inspired recipe! - gingerroot —gingerroot

What You'll Need
  • 24 to 30 ounces fresh or frozen organic raspberries
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 750 milliliters coconut vinegar (5% acidity)*
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus additional to taste
  1. Place raspberries, lemongrass, and vinegar into a non-reactive container that can be tightly sealed. (I don't wash the raspberries because they are so fragile, and I don't want to lose any of their juice. If you need to you may gently rinse them.)
  2. Seal the container and allow to rest at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, stirring once to twice daily. The berries will basically disintegrate within a day or so.
  3. Transfer vinegar and berries to a non-reactive saucepan. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, then reduce heat to low. Simmer as gently as possible, uncovered for one hour, stirring on occasion. (Note: boiling vinegar is quite pungent, make sure you have good ventilation!)
  4. Strain a tablespoon or two of the mixture into a glass, and allow it to cool. Add seltzer water, then taste. Add sugar if desired (I ended up adding another 1/4 cup of sugar.) Once it is the desired sweetness, remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the entire mixture through a mesh strainer set over a bowl, pressing as much of the liquid out of the fruit pulp as possible. Strain the collected liquid through a mesh strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth into a quart-sized pitcher or glass measure. Transfer to a bottle, cool to room temperature, seal, and store in the fridge. Use as you see fit!
  5. * Look for coconut vinegar at Asian groceries. It is a translucent white color, and has a mild flavor making it a perfect vehicle for your fruit to shine!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • BlueKaleRoad
  • vvvanessa
  • LLStone
  • meganotoole
  • northstar100
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

49 Reviews

BlueKaleRoad April 18, 2013
I love your shrubs, Sara! I just saw coconut vinegar for the first time recently so I'm going back to get it. The addition of lemongrass sounds marvelous. Can't wait to try this one!
hardlikearmour April 18, 2013
Thank you, BKR! It may be my imagination, but I think the lemongrass enhances the raspberry flavor.
fitsxarts April 8, 2013
this is so awesome. totally obsessed. have a blueberry one in the works now.
hardlikearmour April 16, 2013
I'm sorry, I didn't get your message earlier! Blueberry makes a great one -- I've had great success with berries and stone fruit.
vvvanessa August 12, 2012
I can't believe I haven't made this yet. I'm making this my #1 farmers' market priority this week!
hardlikearmour August 13, 2012
I can't believe it, either ;-) ! I've made a few batches this summer - peach-cardamom and strawberry-lavender have been my favorite this year. Still need to make another batch of plum-star anise which may be my all-time fav!
LLStone July 22, 2012
I have two batches in the works - blackberry and raspberry. I've tasted after stirring, and I can tell they are going to be delicious!
hardlikearmour July 22, 2012
Yay! I find berries, stone fruit, and mangoes are my favorites.
meganotoole July 16, 2012
LOVE IT- really fun to make and will make any mixologist look even better behind the bar.
hardlikearmour July 16, 2012
thanks, megan! I like having some on hand for refreshing summer beverages.
northstar100 June 22, 2012
I just made my first shrub with strawberries from my own strawberry plants. Can't wait to try many others. Thanks for this!
hardlikearmour June 22, 2012
Yay! I started a batch with strawberries last night, local, but not home grown.
luvcookbooks November 4, 2011
I'm so happy that I followed the comment thread about foods people love/hate and then arrived at this recipe. Serendipity! :)))
hardlikearmour November 4, 2011
I'm glad you found it, too!
hardlikearmour September 25, 2011
I just made a batch of marionberry using frozen berries, and it worked really well. I updated the recipe to include frozen berries. Yay!
lapadia September 25, 2011
Yay, thanks for sharing this!
lapadia October 14, 2011
Yay, again!!! Thanks for sharing your marionberry at our potluck, it was very delicious!
cbear1984 September 23, 2011
I making a grape one tonight. I overbought at the market (whoops), so I'll have to see how this goes.
susan G. September 23, 2011
I made it with grapes and was very happy with it. My comments are on the Strawberry Shrub entry. Hope you enjoy it -- I see below you're experienced already.
hardlikearmour September 24, 2011
I hope it works out for you as well as it worked for susan!
Alexander K. August 18, 2011
I'm glad to see more and more people becoming interested in shrubs. I am a late convert myself, only having it for the first time last year. Since then I've become hooked and really interested in different drinking vinegars.

If anyone is interested in seeing some more DIY shrub recipes, you might want to check out http://bringmeashrub.blogspot.com for more.
hardlikearmour August 20, 2011
awesome! Thanks for sharing.
Alexander K. August 18, 2011
I am really happy to see more and more people becoming interested in drinking vinegar. I'm kind of a bit of a late convert myself, only trying it for the first time last year. Since then, I've been hooked.

If anyone is interested in seeing recipes for other DIY shrubs, check out http://bringmeashrub.blogspot.com for some rather unconventional flavored drinking vinegars and more.
cbear1984 August 10, 2011
I'm trying this with blueberries. So excited to see how it'll come out!
hardlikearmour August 10, 2011
I did a blueberry-tarragon version, using 2 lbs of blueberries. Is probably my favorite version! Let me know how yours turns out.
cbear1984 August 13, 2011
It turned out pretty good! Any idea how long it'll keep?
hardlikearmour August 13, 2011
A long time in the fridge. I still have a small amount left of the Strawberry one I made more than a month ago. Glad it worked out for you!
gluttonforlife July 14, 2011
I ordered some of Ping's tamarind drinking vinegar and have been enjoying it mixed with seltzer and in a cocktail with tequila! Your versions sound delicious!
hardlikearmour July 14, 2011
Thanks! You should make some - I love how easy it is, and how many potential flavor options there are.
TheWimpyVegetarian July 11, 2011
I confess I'd never heard of shrubs until about a month ago here on Food52, and you've peaked my interest greatly with this one since I've been experimenting with all the forms of coconut this year. This looks just wonderful, and I'll be making it this week for sure!!!
hardlikearmour July 11, 2011
I hope you get a chance to make some! My husband and I really like them, my sister and brother not so much (sister wants to add more sugar, and brother thinks its too vinegary!) You can pretty much play with any fruit or combo you'd like, though I suppose banana might be disgusting. I'm thinking of trying kiwi next.
TheWimpyVegetarian July 11, 2011
Kiwi would be interesting to try. It's already tart, so the balance will be important - I love the idea. I tried to do a slushy kiwi drink for this week's contest. Disaster. So I would love to see what you come up with!
hardlikearmour July 11, 2011
I'll let you know when I try it... you add sugar to taste at the end, so it should be okay for the balance. I like it nice and tart personally, but there's a lot of room for individual taste with this stuff.
Sagegreen July 8, 2011
hardlikearmour July 8, 2011
checker July 7, 2011
What a fantastic idea. Oh the possibilities! Thanks for sharing!
hardlikearmour July 7, 2011
You are welcome!
nogaga July 6, 2011
I don't have coconut vinegar but was dying to taste this, so I made up half a batch with my Pommery raspberry vinegar. I'm sure the coconut is better, but this was fabulous! I could drink vinegar every day... Paired with San Pellegrino it felt like a cocktail. Thanks for a total winner!
hardlikearmour July 6, 2011
So glad you got a chance to try it, and thrilled that you like it! Good to know about alternatives for the coconut vinegar.
nogaga July 6, 2011
I have not given up on finding coconut vinegar! I'm sure its even better, rounder. Do you think Chinese or Philippine groceries are the places to look?
hardlikearmour July 6, 2011
I found it at a fairly small Asian market near my house, so that's definitely where to look.
mrslarkin July 6, 2011
Sounds really yummy, hla!
hardlikearmour July 6, 2011
Thanks, mrslarkin! I certainly think so.
boulangere July 6, 2011
All your combinations sound wonderful. Love the idea!
hardlikearmour July 6, 2011
Thanks, b! I have 3 unopened bottles of vinegar just waiting to meet some fruit.
gingerroot July 6, 2011
This sounds delightful (I'm glad you keep experimenting and posting your results because it is a great motivation for me to source coconut vinegar and get my shrub on)!
hardlikearmour July 6, 2011
Thanks, gingerroot! I hope you find some coconut vinegar. The brand I found is Datu Puti and it's from the Philippines.