How to make a rhubarb shrub for an impressive martini and other refreshing drinks

We can’t think of a better way to toast spring.

We can’t think of a better way to toast spring

(Photo: David Bagosy, Styling: Melissa Direnzo)

Used in the past as a method of preserving fruit, a shrub is just a fruit syrup made with vinegar instead of water. This tangy rhubarb shrub can be added to mineral water, sodas or cocktails for a refreshing tart drink.

Rhubarb Shrub and Rhubarb Shrub Martini

For a refreshing soda, add 1 oz shrub to tall glass. Fill with ice and top with sparkling soda water. Spike with vodka, gin or rum as you wish, or see below for the proportions for a rhubarb shrub martini.


Rhubarb Shrub:

  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb stalks
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar (raw, unfiltered, with mother)

Rhubarb Shrub Martini:

  • 1 oz rhubarb shrub
  • 1 oz vermouth
  • 1 oz gin
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • ½ oz sparkling mineral water or soda water (optional)
  • Rhubarb stalk, for garnishing (optional)


For Rhubarb Shrub:

Mix rhubarb and sugar in large glass measuring cup or jar. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days, stirring at least once a day to help dissolve the sugar.

Stir in vinegar. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Strain through fine-meshed sieve, pressing fruit to extract all of the juices. Pour into clean jar. Seal and store refrigerated.

For Rhubarb Shrub Martini:

Add shrub, vermouth, gin and ice to a cocktail shaker, shake and then strain into glass.

Alternatively, add shrub, vermouth, gin and ice to a glass. (Double the strength of the shrub for an intense flavour.) Stir to combine. Finish with soda if desired, and garnish with rhubarb stick.

Servings: Makes 2 ¾ cups of shrub, 1 martini


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