Bitter Grapefruit Shrub

We love fruity, zingy shrubs. This refreshing, rosy grapefruit mix is not only perfect for a non-alcoholic cocktail but try it in salad dressing, too.
Photo by Kenji Toma

Courtesy Chad Walsh, Agern, New York City

It’s not difficult to make a shrub—a Colonial-era, vinegar-based drink that’s enjoying a revival. Bartenders love fruity, zingy shrubs because of the acidity and bite. They’re generally just three ingredients: sugar, vinegar and fruit (not all shrubs use fruit, but most do). Plan ahead: The drink needs to sit a few days. This refreshing, rosy mix will keep for one month in the refrigerator. You can also use it in salad dressings or as a glaze for meats. At Agern it makes an appearance in mocktail and cocktail form. “It’s delicious with Tequila or vodka,” says Walsh. “Or it can also be fun as a mixer in an Aperol Spritz-style apéritif.”

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Grapefruit Shrub Ingredients
  • 6 grapefruits
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
Grapefruit Shrub Directions

Peel grapefruits with a vegetable peeler, leaving as much white pith as possible on the fruit. Juice two of the grapefruits. Do not strain out the pulp. In a large, sealable container, combine the sugar, grapefruit peels and juice. Let the mixture stand in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Add vinegar. Close the container and shake well. Return to the refrigerator. Shake daily for three days. By the fourth day, the sugar should be dissolved. Fine-strain into a clean container, and discard the solids. Yields 16–24 ounces.

Mocktail Ingredients
  • ¾ ounce grapefruit shrub
  • 5¼ ounces still or sparkling water
Mocktail Directions

Stir together in a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge, if desired.

Punch It Up

Add 1½ ounces Tequila.

Published on January 3, 2017
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of Shake.Stir.Sip.: 40 Effortless Cocktails Made In Equal Parts (Chronicle Books, 2016) as well as ROAD SODA: Recipes and techniques for making great cocktails, anywhere (Dovetail Press, 2017). Email: spirits@wineenthusiast.net



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