Strawberry-Basil Shrub Cocktail

This whole situation makes me want to out myself on my nerdery and just yell, "A SHRUBBERY!" and then hit post without writing any other words.

I won't, because you probably arrived here looking for relevant shrub and cocktail recipe information. I will give that to you instead of reverting to my 7th grade self, who watched Monty Python about a bajillion times with her little sister.

Strawberry-Basil Shrub Cocktail Recipe via Worthy Pause

What is a shrub anyway?

A little plant, duh.

In addition to that, shrub is a drinking vinegar. The definition varies a bit from place top place, but the basic recipe for shrub in the U.S. includes fruit, sugar and vinegar. It's been around for a long time in one form or another. Smugglers actually used to sink barrels of alcoholic shrub into the sea to avoid taxes and then pick them up later. It was also very popular in America during colonial times, when people would make cooling shrub sodas on hot days. It sounds a lot like this apple cider vinegar-based shrub soda that I used to make this cocktail, which is pretty awesome.

What does shrub taste like?

It's sort of an oddball acquired taste (like kombucha), but I'm hooked and I can't wait to try making my own at home. It's vinegar-y, but also sweet. A good shrub is balanced, and typically a shrub syrup or concentrate will be cut with carbonated water or something else.

Strawberry, Basil & Apple Cider Vinegar Soda from The Shrub Soda Co. via Worthy Pause

My friends at The Shrub Soda Co. (a small-batch outfit based in Traverse City, Michigan) sent me a summery strawberry-basil care package that definitely came at the right time — the middle of winter. And my friends at BET Vodka (based in Minneapolis, but distilled in New Richmond, WI) sent another care package with alcohol in it. It's vodka made with sugar beets!

It's been a very good month for care packages, guys.

Using these two care packages, I put together a third care package for myself — this Strawberry-Basil Shrub Cocktail.

Strawberry, Basil & Apple Cider Vinegar Soda from The Shrub Soda Co. via Worthy Pause
Strawberry-Basil Shrub Cocktail Recipe via Worthy Pause
BET Vodka Cocktail Recipe via The Midwestival

Strawberry-Basil Shrub Cocktail

makes one cocktail


  • ice
  • 2 oz. BET Vodka
  • 1/2 bottle of Strawberry Basil & Apple Cider Vinegar soda from The Shrub Soda Co. (available online!)
  • 1 fresh or frozen strawberry, sliced
  • 2-4 leaves of fresh basil



  1. Add ice to a rocks glass.
  2. Add vodka.
  3. Top with the soda.
  4. Garnish with strawberries and basil.


  • Muddle the strawberry before you add the ice to add even more sweetness.
  • If you use frozen strawberries (I did), slice them while they are frozen or they will look a bit mangled.
  • Interested in making your own shrub from scratch? Let me know and I'll post a recipe soon!
Strawberry-Basil Shrub Cocktail Recipe via Worthy Pause

Thanks so much to The Shrub Soda Co. and BET Vodka for the ingredients in this easy cocktail recipe! You guys are the best, for real.