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Cranberry-Lime Shrub Sparkler

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 1 quart shrub, enough for 16 drinks

Popular in colonial times, a shrub is a sweetened fruit and vinegar syrup. It’s mainly used as a drink mixer, as in this recipe, but you can also use it to brighten a pan sauce for chicken or pork, to boost the flavor of a viniagrette, or to add some zing to whipped cream for a unique dessert topping.


For the shrub

  • 12 oz. (3 cups) cranberries,rinsed and picked over    
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1 strip lime zest (1/2 x 2 inches)

For the sparklers

  • 1 cup seltzer, tonic water, or sparkling cider
  • 1 fl. oz. vodka (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size 1 Tbs. of the shurb
  • Calories (kcal) : 15
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 0
  • Fat (g): 0
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 0
  • Carbohydrates (g): 4
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 0


Make the shrub

  • In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, vinegar, and lime zest with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the cranberries are completely broken down, about 20 minutes. Let cool.
  • Purée with an immersion blender. Strain through a fine sieve set over a large bowl, pressing hard on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

Make the sparklers

  • Per drink, combine 3 to 4 Tbs. of the chilled shrub with cold seltzer (and vodka, if you like).

Make Ahead Tips

The shrub will keep, refrigerated in a jar, for up to 2 months.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • Krispie | 12/01/2019

    I love to make new cocktails and offer them as the specialty drink for a specific holiday. I tried this for Thanksgiving. While it grew on me, no one else really enjoyed it. It’s not sweet and it’s not savory- it’s just there. I think it might be better with sparkling wine instead of tonic vodka. Especially if the sparkling wine is a bit sweet. I still have plenty left - I think I’ll try that mixture before I toss it.

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