Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Shrubhattan

22 May

With summer right around the corner, it’s time for more than just wine and beer! I love a good cocktail, but have realized that’s just not my preference during the colder months (which makes up the majority of the year in Wisconsin). So when The Recipe Redux challenged us to post a creative cocktail concoction this month, I was right on board!

This cocktail has all sorts of flavors going on. First, you must make the shrub. In its most basic form, a shrub is an acidulated beverage. According to Wikipedia, “the word “shrub” [refers] to a cocktail or soft drink that was popular during America’s colonial era, made by mixing a vinegared syrup with spirits, water, or carbonated water. The term “shrub” can also be applied to the sweetened vinegar-based syrup, from which the cocktail is made; the syrup is also known as drinking vinegar. Drinking vinegar is often infused with fruit juice, herbs and spices for use in mixed drinks.”

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Shrubhattan |

In the case of this recipe, we’ll be using the latter definition of “shrub,” as we’ll mix our homemade shrub with a spirit, flavoring, and soda water to create a refreshing and complex cocktail.

If a “vinegar-based syrup” makes you pucker up in disgust, hear me out! The syrup is made from equal parts of fruit, sugar, and vinegar. It’s slightly tangy, but retains a sweetness that makes for a wonderfully balanced drink. It’s a great way to make a cocktail that’s not too sweet (like an Old Fashioned), and not too bitter (like a gin & tonic).

The twist in this shrub comes from the chocolate-balsamic vinegar! My mom found this vinegar on a trip to Door County, WI and thought I’d like it. What better way to use a special vinegar than in a special cocktail? 🙂

Speaking of special, this cocktail is great for celebrations of all types. Simply make the shrub ahead of time, and with a bottle each of bourbon and chocolate bitters, you’ll have an easy cocktail ready to make for an entire gathering!

Chocolate-Balsamic Strawberry Shrub

Makes 2 cups shrub

  • 1 C quartered strawberries
  • 1 C cane sugar
  • 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 C chocolate-balsamic vinegar

Wash, de-stem and quarter the strawberries. Place the berries in a bowl or wide-mouthed mason jar and pour the sugar on top. You can muddle the berries a bit with a wooden spoon. Cover and let sit in the fridge 24-48 hours.

Next, stir in the vinegars, cover and shake/stir. Let this refrigerate for two to ten days! Shake/stir this mixture a few times per day to ensure the sugar dissolves. The flavor mellows over time, so the longer you let it sit, the more mellow it will taste.

Finally, strain out the fruit into a bowl using a fine-mesh strainer. Use a large spoon to press down on the fruit to ensure all the syrup is expelled. Transfer the shrub to a clean bottle or mason jar and make some cocktails! The shrub can be refrigerated until you drink it all.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Shrubhattan

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 2 oz bourbon, my favorite is Eagle Rare, but Buffalo Trace or another smooth bourbon would work
  • 3/4 oz chocolate-balsamic strawberry shrub
  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters, I used Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
  • Soda water, to fill

Stir together the bourbon, shrub, and bitters over ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and top off with soda water.

For a non-alcoholic drink, mix one ounce of the shrub into a glass of soda water for a refreshing, yet complex beverage.


25 Responses to “Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Shrubhattan”

  1. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables May 22, 2017 at 8:52 am #

    Yum! My husband and I have been getting into cocktails lately and this one sounds like a delicious one! I love fruity ones!

    • xtinaluvspink May 22, 2017 at 9:18 am #

      Thank you! This was so much fun to develop, and now I have a bottle of shrub in the fridge, ready for whenever I want one of these!

  2. AZ@...And a Dash of Cinnamon May 22, 2017 at 9:03 am #

    I’ve never heard of chocolate balsamic vinegar! I love the two separately so I am very intrigued by this haha

    • xtinaluvspink May 22, 2017 at 9:19 am #

      I hadn’t either, till my mom gave it to me! It’s so good, just on its own!

      • AZ@...And a Dash of Cinnamon May 22, 2017 at 10:35 am #

        I believe it! I’m for sure going to have to look into it

  3. Serena Ball MS, RD (@tspcurry) May 22, 2017 at 10:12 am #

    Oooo! Shrubs are my new love! Can’t wait to try this creative one!

    • xtinaluvspink May 22, 2017 at 10:25 am #

      Thanks! I’m still new to them, but can easily see how this will dominate my summer drinking.

  4. Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner May 22, 2017 at 11:59 am #

    I am not a big cocktail person but these would be fun for a party this summer

  5. sprint2thetable May 22, 2017 at 1:48 pm #

    You had me at the “hattan” part. I am a Manhattan junkie. This shrub sounds amazing… I need to get my hands on some chocolate balsamic STAT!

    • xtinaluvspink May 22, 2017 at 1:58 pm #

      You’d LOVE this stuff! On its own, it is so delicious. And then whipped into this cocktail… Mind blowing.

  6. Abbey Sharp May 22, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

    I need to try this cocktail! Such an awesome combo of flavours.

  7. Kelly Page (@TastingPage) May 22, 2017 at 4:46 pm #

    Love the name shrubhattan. Fun to say and looks even more fun to drink!

  8. Emily Holdorf May 22, 2017 at 10:30 pm #

    I loved learning about the term shrub! This sounds like such a unique cocktail! I’m so intrigued!

  9. Chrissy Carroll May 23, 2017 at 6:34 am #

    This sounds soooo good. I can’t wait until we can pick some fresh strawberries here in MA so I can make this. Usually we have a few good weeks in June for picking so it’s almost time!

  10. Julie Wunder May 23, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    Pour me two- lol! What a refreshing drink for this time of year!

  11. Diane K June 18, 2017 at 9:49 am #

    Does the sugar cause a chemical reaction? Do you think I could sub another sweetener? Also, is soda water the same as club soda or seltzer?

    • xtinaluvspink June 18, 2017 at 9:57 am #

      You could use any sweetener! You just need the sweet to balance the sour of the vinegar. Coconut sugar is a good choice, but I bet Truvia would work, as long as it can dissolve.

    • xtinaluvspink June 18, 2017 at 9:57 am #

      Soda water is simply carbonated water. I have a soda stream, so that’s what I use. Zero calories or additives.


  1. 4th of July Recipe Roundup | Eat, Drink, Be Healthy! - June 30, 2017

    […] Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Shrubhattan from Eat, Drink, Be Healthy! […]

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