Homemade Soda: A Fruit Shrub in Your Glass

I have a terrible confession to make: I’m actually sort of a sucker for soda pop. Since most soda is sweetened with genetically modified high fructose corn syrup, I tend to avoid the store-bought stuff, but lately I’ve been into making homemade sodas as a treat from time to time.

Sugary drinks are far from healthy, and you should definitely stick to even homemade sodas in moderation. As a sometimes treat, though, a fruit shrub is a lovely indulgence! The name is a little bit deceiving – this drink doesn’t contain a lot of fruit, and certainly not a whole shrub’s worth. When you’re talking about beverages, a “shrub” is actually a tangy, fruity syrup that you can mix with carbonated water to create homemade sodas. A splash of booze in that ain’t too bad either!

Fruit Shrub Ingredients

  • 1 cup juice of your choice. I made the shrub pictured above from red naval oranges, but you can use berry, citrus, or any other fruit juice you like.
  • 1 cup sugar, or sweetener of your choice. If you use a liquid sweetener, cut back to 1/2 cup.
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar.


1. Combine all of the ingredients in a glass jar, close the lid, and shake well until all of the sugar is dissolved. If the sugar is being very stubborn, you can heat the mixture in a small pan on low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely.

2. To make a drink, just spoon about 2 tablespoons of your shrub syrup into a tall glass, and top it off with seltzer. You can add 1 oz. of rum or vodka, if you’re feeling really festive, too!

I know, the vinegar might sound like an odd ingredient, but it adds a nice tang to offset the sugar and the sweetness from the juice. If you’re hesitant about the vinegar, you can reduce the amount to 3/4 cup at first. You can always add more vinegar next time, if it turns out you want a little bit more tanginess.

Have any of you guys whipped up a fruit shrub at home? I’d love to hear what sort you made and how you liked it!

Image Credit: Photo by Becky Striepe


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Tara W.
Tara W1 years ago

Just made my first rhubarb shrub and its delicious!

health truth
health truth5 years ago


Carmen S.
Carmen S5 years ago

thanks for this

shelby moe
shelby Mor5 years ago

Thanks so much for posting this! I want to stop drinking soda since it's so bad for the environment and health, but I have to have carbonated stuff(it's a mouth feel thing, like how some people crave crunchy stuff). Relatively healthy solution!!

Has anyone made this using stevia yet? I was wondering how much to use, since it's so much sweeter than regular sugar.

Ruth P.
Ruth P5 years ago

Sounds really nice, and simple too! Vinegar is a great addition to drinks (if your digestion can handle it, of course!)

If anyone is looking for more interesting soft drink recipes, try a syrup of orange rinds and mint with vinegar. It was very pleasantly bitter with a nice herbal taste. (But I drink dandelion and burdock, so my tastes in pop do lean that way, haha)

Debbie Bush
Debbie Bush5 years ago


Anna Clayton
Anna Clayton5 years ago

I just tried this recipe; it was good, but tasted a little too vinegary (and I only used three tablespoons of it), but I'm afraid if I add less next time it would just be juice, sugar, and seltzer. It was much cheaper and tasted healthier than regular soda, though! Thank you for posting.

Sheri P.
Sheri P5 years ago

sounds like a great way to work ACV into your diet! that stuff tastes so horrid on its own but is supposedly so good for you...