Easy “Shrub” Sparkler

Easy shrub sparkler - closeup

May 26, 2023

Much of what I know about jams, pickles, and preserves comes from Marisa McClellan. Her books and blog, Food in Jars, were perfect guides for a newbie like me. I was also fortunate to take a class with her back in the day.

I don’t visit the blog on a regular basis. I tend to go through large batches of posts at one sitting and it was on one such visit that I came across her Instant Shrub Sparkler.

Easy shrub sparkler with glasses waiting to be filled

What is a shrub?

Without getting too heavily into its history, a shrub is a fruit syrup that is made with fruit juice, sugar, vinegar or alcohol. Other ingredients, like herbs and aromatics, are included for flavoring. A shrub was originally meant to preserve fruit at a time when refrigeration didn’t exist. The result is something that is both sweet and tart.

Jam – it’s not just for toast

Marisa’s “recipe” embraces the idea of a shrub but allows you to make and enjoy it in no time. Jam gives you the concentrated intensity of the fruit and mixing it with vinegar gives you the tartness found in a shrub. Using a two-to-one ratio of jam to vinegar gives you the base flavors. You can add other flavorings like muddled fresh mint or basil leaves too.

Before you add your sparkling water, you can sieve the mixture to remove the bits of fruit. I happen to like the fruit bits – it kind of reminds me of the fruit in sangria (without the alcohol).

You can also make a delicious adult beverage by adding a splash of alcohol – herbal gin, citrus vodka, or limoncello would work nicely.

Easy shrub sparkler

Fun serving glasses

Marisa’s post also promoted these cute Ball Flute Jars. I loved the look so much I immediately went out and bought a set. They are relatively inexpensive and are the perfect size for these shrub sparklers. Of course, you don’t need to buy these jars to enjoy this refreshing summer drink – your favorite glasses will do just fine.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Easy shrub sparkler

Easy “Shrub” Sparkler

  • Author: She’s Almost Always Hungry
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This refreshing, bubbly drink will get you through warm summer days (and nights). Make a batch of the base so you can whip up a drink at a moment’s notice. This recipe is expanded upon Marisa McClellan recipe on Food in Jars.



1 cup jam

1/2 cup apple cider or balsamic vinegar

812 cups sparkling water

Mint, basil, fresh ginger (optional)


For the shurb base:

In a bowl, combine the jam and vinegar. Taste the mixture and adjust the balance as needed – Too sweet? Add more vinegar. Too astringent? Add more jam. Keep in mind, the mixture will be strong as it is meant to be diluted with sparkling water.

Optional: strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Store this base mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

For the shrub sparkler:

Place 3 tablespoons of the shrub base mixture in a glass. Muddle in any fresh herbs or ginger, as desired. Top with 1-1½ cups of sparkling water, to taste. Stir to mix and garnish with fresh herbs or fruit slices.

Optional: you could also add a splash of alcohol, like an aromatic gin, citrus vodka, or limoncello, if desired.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Drinks
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 121.29
  • Sugar: 20.67 g.
  • Sodium: 88.88 mg.
  • Fat: 0.03 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 29.42 g.
  • Fiber: 0.47 g.
  • Protein: 0.16 g.
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: jam, vinegar, sparkling water

You May Also Like…

Poinsettia Punch

Poinsettia Punch

2023 Holiday Treats - Part 4 With the approach of the Christmas & New Year's holidays, here is an easy party punch...

Bourbon Apple Cider Thyme Punch

Bourbon Apple Cider Thyme Punch

One thing I miss from my time living in Boston is Moveable Feast - a lovely and talented group of foodie friends that...

Sparkling Guava Agua Fresca

Sparkling Guava Agua Fresca

After making guava jam, I still had a fair amount of guavas on hand that were threatening to go bad. On a particularly...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating