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How to Make a Spiced Apple Shrub

How to Make a Spiced Apple Shrub

Words Erin Zimmer

A shrub is a crisp, tangy picker-upper of a drink you can mix with sparkling water (and spiced rum, if you’re feeling frisky). Make this delicious apple version to celebrate fall.

Have you tried making shrubs before? Do you even know what a shrub is? It’s basically a drinkable vinegar, often infused with fruit and sometimes herbs. With fall in full swing, we have plenty of apples on our hands, and figured there’d be no better time to make an apple shrub. (You could even call this an apple-squared-shrub since we’re using apple cider vinegar too!) Shrubs are quite simple to make at home—all you have to do is make a quick concentrate of one part fruit, one part vinegar, and about one part sugar (depending on how sweet the fruit is). Store the mixture in the fridge for at least a couple days in a sealed glass container or jar.

When choosing apple varieties for this shrub, you want one with an assertive flavor that’s ideally a bit sweet like a Macintosh, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, or Mutsu. Have you gone apple picking? We have even more ideas.

Apple Shrub


5 medium apples, shredded (yields about 2 cups shredded apples)

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cup sugar

Fresh rosemary, cinnamon sticks, and star anise

Optional: Spiced Rum


  1. Shred apples with a box grater then combine with vinegar and sugar.
  2. Let mixture sit in the fridge in a glass container with spices for at least two days.
  3. Strain apple bits and spices out and leave the rest of the apple shrub concentrate in your resealable glass container in the fridge.
  4. Mix about 1 tablespoon of the apple shrub concentrate with sparkling water. Makes for a great soda substitute when you need an afternoon pick-me-up, or use it as a cocktail mixer with spiced rum! Pairs well with spicy Thai food, too.

More Shrub-spiration

Shrubs of course aren’t just limited to apples or fall. You can sub in any fruit during any season. We’re excited to try a blood orange shrub this winter and a strawberry shrub this spring. Still have tons of apples? Try these delicious apple recipes and ideas for what to do with the bushels of fruit leftover from fall apple picking adventures.

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By Erin Zimmer

Erin Zimmer is a freelance writer and photo stylist for OXO. The former managing editor of James Beard award-winning food website Serious Eats, Erin is based in New Orleans, where she loves adventures in her canoe, evenings on the porch, and long bayou walks with her dog Lillie.

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