Buffalo Nutrition and Dietetics PLLC

at DENT Neurologic Institute

3980  Sheridan Dr. Suite 401

Amherst, NY

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© 2018 by Noelle DeSantis.

  • Noelle DeSantis, MS, RDN

Cran-Rosemary Shrub

A perfect holiday drink that can be enjoyed as a cocktail or mocktail.

If you are looking for a complex beverage with layers of flavors that can be enjoyed without booze, this is the drink for you. (And for those that want to add another layer of complexity you can easily add your favorite spirit.)

So what is a shrub?

The simple definition, a drink made with vinegar. It is really a syrup, made from equal parts fruit, sugar and vinegar. It can be topped with still or sparkling water. sparkling wine, or a combination of your favorite spirit and water.

According to an article from the New York Times, Shrub comes from the Arabic word sharab, meaning drink. It was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, before refrigeration, when vinegar and sugar could be used to preserve seasonal fruits.

What you need for the Cran-Rosemary Shrub:

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup organic raw sugar

1 cinnamon stick

0.75 oz fresh cut rosemary, plus extra for garnish

1 orange, for zesting and wedges for garnish

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon for garnish


Sparkling water

*Optional: sparkling wine or your favorite spirit

Shrub instructions:

1. In a medium sauce pan combine the vinegar, cranberries, sugar, rosemary, cinnamon stick and 1 Tbsp orange zest.

2. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and then simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

4. Strain mixture, and store in a glass jar.

Building your delicious beverage:

1. Prepare garnishes: cut rosemary into 1 1/2 " - 2 " pieces, cut orange wedges and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Set aside.

2. Fill a highball or rocks glass with ice.

2. Add 1 oz of shrub, fill remaining with sparkling water.

3. Stir to combine, garnish with cinnamon orange wedge and rosemary sprig.

4. Enjoy!

Functional ingredients

Rosemary is a very common culinary herb, loaded with compounds that have pharmacological effects. These include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-tumor and neuronal protective.

Vinegar has been used medicinally for it's antimicrobial properties. The acetic acid inhibits pathogenic bacteria growth. Vinegar also contains antioxidant compounds, such as polyphenols and vitamins, that protect our cells from damage. Apple cider vinegar has been found to contain gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and p‐coumaric acid, all of which contribute to the antioxidant properties. There is also evidence that vinegar can help manage blood sugar, decrease risk of different cancers, prevention of cardiovascular disease and may even benefit brain health.

Cranberries are rich in compounds called proanthocyanidins, which can reduce incidence of certain infections, prevent UTIs, promote heart health, decrease inflammation and promote healthy digestion. In addition they are a good source of b vitamins, and vitamin C.

So enjoy this complex, tasty drink, loaded with beneficial functional ingredients with friends and family this holiday season.


Budak, N., Aykin, E., Seydim, A., Greene, A., & Guzel‐Seydim, Z. (2014). Functional Properties of Vinegar. Journal of Food Science, 79(5), R757–R764. https://doi.org/10.1111/1750-3841.12434

Habtemariam S. The Therapeutic Potential of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Diterpenes for Alzheimer's Disease. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:2680409. doi:10.1155/2016/2680409

Revsin, Leslie. "For a new flavor, 1 part fruit, 2 parts history." New York Times, 6 Sept. 2000, p. F3. Gale In Context: Biography, https://link-gale-com.gate.lib.buffalo.edu/apps/doc/A65533644/BIC?u=sunybuff_main&sid=BIC&xid=af1e0720. Accessed 21 Dec. 2019.