Cranberry & Sage Shrub (Drinking Vinegar)

Growing up, I wasn’t the biggest fan of cranberries. Every now and then I ate that jiggly dessert we Americans call cranberry sauce, but it wasn’t until my cousin Kathryn introduced me to real cranberries that I fell in love. Thanks, Kath!

I’ve been on a bit of a shrub kick lately. You are probably asking yourself, what the heck a shrub is? Well, in food world, shrubs are an acidulated beverage made of juice, sugar, vinegar, and other ingredients, such as soda water or even booze.

These drinking vinegars were popular during Colonial America as a way to capture the freshness of seasonal fruits. Despite their popularity, home-refrigeration forced these drinks into obscurity. Much like the fashion world, the food world also dips into the past for inspiration and shrubs have been making a comeback.

While there’s now way I could pull off skinny jeans… I am quite in love with shrubs. And this Cranberry & Sage Shrub will be served at Thanksgiving! And Christmas… possibly July.


  • 1 Pound Cranberries
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 fresh sage leaves

Yield: 1 cup shrub syrup

Total Time

29 hours, 25 minutes
Prep time

5 minutes
Inactive time

29 hours
Cook time

20 minutes

Oven Temperature: 350° F

Recipe Type:


Diet: Vegan

1. I typically make my shrubs using a cold process. That is where you cover chopped up fruit with sugar and let it sit. But cranberries need a little help in this department. Place the cranberries on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake them for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, until they look something like this. If you listen carefully you can hear them popping in the oven.

Baked Cranberries-2

2. Transfer the roasted cranberries to a quart-sized mason jar.

Roasted Cranberries

3. Add the 1 cup of sugar and cover and seal the mason jar. Shake the hell out of it so that all of the cranberries are covered with sugar. Let stand in a dark cool place for 5 hours; the sugar and cranberries will form a syrup.

Cranberry Syrup

4. Add 1 cup of vinegar to the cranberries. I used apple cider vinegar but you can also try others, such as champagne or red wine. Cover and shake the mixture, trying to dissolve as much of the remaining sugar as possible.

Cranberry Vinegar

5. Add in the fresh sage leaves and stir, so they are soaking in the vinegar. Let the cranberry mixture stand for 24 hours in a dark cool place, shaking regularly.

Cranberry Sage Drinking Vinegar

6. Strain the mixture through a sieve and store in a clean mason jar.

7. Shrubs can be served in a variety ways. You can drink them straight or even use them in cocktails, like I did in my new cookbook, Holidazed. I served this shrub with some club soda. Using a single old fashioned glass filled with ice cubes, add 2 ounces of cranberry and sage shrub syrup and top off with club soda. Garnish with fresh cranberries.

Cranberry Sage Shrub-2

Source: cookingstoned

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.