DIY: At-Home Shrubs + Switchels

By Melissa Massello

Also known as drinking vinegars, shrubs and switchels are the new sodas -- and the secret to stamping any craft cocktail or mocktail with your (newly monogrammed) signature. Auniquely Americanthrowback to the 1800s, these fizzy, vinegary, fermented fruit mixers are known for being summer in a glass: bright, refreshing, cooling, and good for the gut, not to mention endlessly delicious. As my friend Denise at Chez Us once said: "Now, every time I look at the fruit aisle, I'm thinking, 'Can I shrub that?'"

Basic instructions:

The most "complicated" on our list of craft cocktail DIYs, making shrubs and switchels is still just a matter of stirring the pot -- literally and metaphorically -- then straining and storing. A good rule for ratio on any shrub is 1 pound fruit, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup vinegar. Basically, you're going to make a simple syrup, add fruit, simmer, strain out the solids, and add vinegar.

Switchel is even easier, basically just steeping vinegar overnight. Food52 has a wonderful, more in-depthguide to DIY shrubs(both hot process and cold process);Bon Appetithas yourend-all switchel recipe. Shrubs pair best in fizzy cocktails with Champagne or Prosecco; switchels pair best in cocktails with aged rum.

Try making these recipes:

Our Favorite Cocktail Recipe:

Pear Ginger Spritz Cocktail


  • 4 oz dry Prosecco (or other sparkling white wine)
  • 1 oz Pear Ginger Shrub*
  • Club Soda
  • Pear Slices, Candied Ginger (for serving)


  • Pour Prosecco into an ice-filled large wine or rocks glass
  • Add shrub and top off with club soda
  • Gently stir together; garnish with pear slices and candied ginger

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