Healthy Vintage Cocktails Making a Comeback


Vintage Cocktails Making a Comeback

What’s old is new again and maybe even hip.  This isn’t your grandma’s drink (or maybe it was). Looking for a cleansing drink that’s both tasty and beneficial? Look no further to this lovely liquid trend: Shrubs!

In terms of mixed drinks, shrub is the name of two different, but related, acidulated beverages. One type of shrub is a fruit liqueur that was popular in 17th and 18th century England, typically made with rum or brandy mixed with sugar and the juice or rinds of citrus fruit. A shrub can also refer to a cocktail or soft drink that was popular during America’s colonial era, made by mixing vinegar-infused syrup with spirits, water, or carbonated water.

The shrub’s association with spirits and cocktails was made popular during the 1700’s when smuggling barrels of duty-free booze from the European mainland into England was commonplace. There is some stories that suggest shrubs were used to mask the briny flavor of bad gin and rum that had become spoiled by seawater during the smuggling process.

The traditional way to prepare a shrub is with raw apple cider vinegar, which is full of good probiotics and nutrients that work to break down fats and clean up your act from the inside out. This cleaned out gut can lead to better digestion, reduced blood sugar levels and increased energy. Raw apple cider vinegar is rich in anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, which is especially helpful during cold and flu season. It also promotes healthy hair and skin. Since acid stimulates the salivary glands, the sweet-tart liquid quenches thirst while increasing the appetite, making it perfect as an apertif-style cocktail.

You can make your own shrub at home by marinating one part fresh, stemmed fruit cut in bite size pieces with one part granulated sugar in a bowl in the fridge overnight. The sugar will extract the liquid from the fruit. Strain out the solids and mix your fruit syrup with one part vinegar — champagne and apple cider both make interesting pairings — whisk to combine, and voila, a historically accurate cocktail enhancer with a modern feel. (Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails)

Probiotic Raspberry Shrub Tonic


2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 handful of raspberries

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (optional)


Mix together and keep in a sealed container for two days at room temperature. After two days, place in the fridge for 3-5 days. Mix a splash of raspberry shrub with sparkling water for a fizzy, sweet and sour probiotic drink. Enjoy and celebrate being a part of vintage cocktails making a comeback!

Strawberry Shrub Instructions:

Hull and slice 1 pint of strawberries. Place them in a pot with 1 quart of apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Strain out the fruit, then add 1 cup of simple syrup to the remaining liquid.

Then make it into a Strawberry Shrub Collins:

1 1/2 gin (or another spirit)

3/4 oz. simple syrup (1:1)

3/4 oz. strawberry shrub

Club soda

Ice cubes

Combine gin, simple syrup and strawberry shrub in an ice-filled Collins glass, stirring until chilled. Top with club soda, then garnish.

Related Blog: Mom’s Miracle Tea for Colds


Oakley, Tim (August 9, 2011). “Shrub: A History”. Class Magazine. Difford’s Guide. Retrieved September 10, 2012.

Toland, Bill (September 6, 2012). “Spirits: Vinegary ‘shrubs’ are growing on people”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 10, 2012.

Please Share “Healthy Vintage Cocktails are Making a Come Back”


Sandy J Duncan
Sandy Duncan is completing her Doctorate in Integrative Medicine, a health and wellness coach, Certified Neurofeedback specialist and author of Read honest reviews on current health and wellness products as well as register for FREE giveaways.