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Rosemary grape shrub

From shrub to shrub...

Fresh grapes on the vine and in a bowl

A friend recently brought over some fresh clippings from her grape vines. Since I just recently started experimented with making both sweet and savory shrubs with the seasonal bounty of generous neighbors; these wonderful grapes are now in my fridge macerating with sugar waiting to be added to the apple cider vinegar and rosemary infusion that I prepared for the recipe. I’m imagining a lovely summer thirst quencher or perhaps a grape-y vodka cocktail.

Today’s shrub is a beverage made from combining fresh fruits (or vegetables) with sugar, and allowing this to macerate over a period of a few hours or overnight. The juice that accumulates is strained and combined with a vinegar, which can also be infused with herbs or spices. The type of vinegar can also be interchanged depending on the desired outcome, but usually mild vinegars such as apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, white wine vinegar and fruit vinegars are the best choice. This shrub now becomes the base for a cocktail or soda with the addition of spirits or soda water. The word shrub can refer to both the vinegar, sugar, fruit (or vegetable) concoction as well as the beverage or cocktail it becomes .

The history of the shrub as we know it today, has a long and shrubby path; it’s uses and combination of ingredients being altered and traded between continents over centuries of time. I recommend a wonderful little book by Michael Dietsch, Shrubs, An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times, as a resource for recipes and to learn everything you want to know about the history of the shrub.

-Photos courtesy of Alison Negrin, all rights reserved.


Rosemary Grape Shrub

clear glass jars filled with Alison's shrubs


• 1 pound red grapes (Concord or any other)

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (approximately)

• 1 sprig rosemary


  1. Place the washed grapes in a large bowl and mash slightly. Add the sugar and mix well. Cover and allow to sit overnight in the fridge.

  2. In a separate bowl infuse the rosemary sprig in the apple cider vinegar overnight.

  3. The following day, drain the grapes, using a fine meshed strainer over a container (Save the juice, compost the grapes!)

  4. Remove the rosemary from the apple cider vinegar.

  5. Combine the strained grape juice with the rosemary-infused apple cider vinegar.

  6. Pour into a pint jar and seal.

  7. Allow the shrub to sit in the fridge for at least one week before experimenting with it in beverages and cocktails. It can be added to spirits for a refreshing cocktail, or to mineral water for a wonderfully unique soda.​

To your health!


Creating Healthy Food Zones

Copyright © 2016 Chef Alison Negrin, All rights reserved

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