Balsamic Strawberry Shrub Soda | Mocktail

You're craving a refreshing drink that is a little fruity and fizzy. All the seltzers that are so popular have you wondering if you could make your own homemade version. Look no further; a fruit shrub, specifically a strawberry shrub, is easy to make. When you muddle it with fresh herbs, like basil, this shrub and soda is the perfect balance of tart and crisp.

The drink is made with a sweet, tangy fruit-based vinegar syrup called balsamic strawberry shrub. You can enjoy it by itself or use it in cocktails, mocktails, salads, and even on top of vanilla ice cream. Made with fresh berries, this drink is a must-try.

Why Shrubs? The Elixir Your Grandma's Grandma Swore By

Shrubs, also known as “drinking vinegars,” are the time-honored elixirs that have been preserving the essence of fruits for generations. They're not just a fad; they're a tradition.

A Flavor Worth the Wait

Traditionally, shrubs were a waiting game, letting fruits and vinegar mingle for weeks to reach their peak flavor. The vinegar acts as a natural preservative, allowing you to enjoy the taste of summer even in the depths of winter.

No Time? No Problem!

Life's busy, and we get it. That's why this quick version gives you all the flavor without the wait. It's like fast-forwarding to the good part!

Why This Strawberry Shrub Mocktail Will Make Your Taste Buds Sing

If you're new to shrubs and worried about the sour factor, fear not! The balsamic vinegar on strawberries in this recipe adds a rich, complex flavor that complements the sweetness of the maple syrup.

Wondering if a strawberry basil mocktail will work? The flavors definitely pair well! The basil brings a bright herbal twist, making each sip a delightful experience.

Ingredients for Making a Strawberry Shrub Recipe

Making a shrub is as easy as 1-2-3. All you need is fruit, sugar, and vinegar.

For the Balsamic Strawberries Shrub

1 pint of fresh strawberries

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Simple Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Best Strawberry Shrub Recipe at Home

  1. Prep Your Strawberries: Wash your strawberries, pat them dry, and quarter them.
  2. Mix It Up: In a medium bowl, mix the strawberries, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Chill Out: Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours for a deeper flavor.

Creative Uses for Strawberry Shrubs in Recipes, Cocktails, and Mocktails

If you thought strawberry shrubs were only good for refreshing drinks, think again! Use them creatively to enhance the flavor of your recipes and cocktails. Here are some exciting ideas to get you started:

Flavorful Dressings and Marinades

Strawberry shrub can also serve as an excellent base for salad dressings or marinades. Its vibrant taste adds a unique twist to your favorite greens or meats. Mix it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some herbs for a zesty dressing that will elevate any salad.

I had a great burger when I visited my son and his fiancée in Madison, WI. The burger had a strawberry shrub on top. Every bite was delicious.

Dessert Delights

Why stop at beverages when you can incorporate strawberry shrubs into desserts, too? Experiment with adding it to ice creams or sorbets for an unexpected burst of fruity goodness. The tartness of the balsamic strawberry shrub complements the sweetness of the dessert, resulting in an enjoyable treat.

Mocktail Creativity (you can easily create shrub cocktails too)

Of course, we can't forget about mocktails and cocktails! Strawberry shrubs make fantastic additions to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages alike. Mix them with vodka or other spirits for a flavorful twist on classic cocktails like mojitos or margaritas. For a non-alcoholic alternative, try adding them to fruit juices or soda water to create mocktails that are absolutely amazing.

Get creative! Use them in sparkling water, dressings, desserts, and cocktails, and let your imagination soar.

How to Make the Balsamic Strawberry Basil Shrub and Soda Mocktail

For the Drink

2 tablespoons balsamic strawberries

1 tablespoon juice from balsamic strawberries

4 fresh basil leaves

Crushed ice or on the rocks

8 oz sparkling water

How to Whip It Up

Berry Bliss: Wash and quarter your strawberries. Combine them with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Chill for 15 mins to 4 hours.

Herb Alert: In a rocks glass, muddle the strawberry and basil.

Top it Off: Add ice and sparkling water. Stir and enjoy!

Sip & Celebrate: This Balsamic Strawberry Shrub and Soda is more than just a drink; it's a taste of a balanced, vibrant life.

Mealtime conversation starters

Conversation starter for mocktail mixers, featuring Balsamic Strawberry Shrub Soda

In a world where we each have something extraordinary to offer, let's celebrate individuality. Your insights might just inspire others to be their authentic selves. 🌠

To spark a conversation over drinks, ask this question:

Share something about yourself that sets you apart, no matter how big or small. It could be a hidden talent, a quirky habit, or a unique experience,

Balsamic Strawberry Shrub and Basil Mocktail - A non-alcoholic option that works year-round
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5 from 5 votes

Shrub and Soda - Balsamic Strawberries and Basil

This Balsamic Strawberry Shrub and Soda is more than just a drink; it's a taste of a balanced, vibrant life.
Prep Time10 minutes
Set aside to meld15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 57
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: American

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Balsamic Strawberry Shrub

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries (12 large strawberies)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

To mix the drink

  • 1 bunch fresh basil (4 for each drink)
  • crushed ice (½ - 1 cup, to taste)
  • sparkling water (8 oz for each drink)


Balsamic Strawberry Shrub

  • Wash strawberries dry with a paper towel, then cut the tops off and cut them into quarters.
  • Place your cut strawberries in a medium bowl.
  • Add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to the bowl.
  • Gently mix strawberries, balsamic, and syrup together.
  • Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  • Stir, and use it as an ingredient in the drink.

To make each drink

  • In a pint glass (or other decorative glass)
  • Add two large balsamic strawberries, one tablespoon of the balsamic syrup from the strawberry mixture, and 4 fresh basil leaves to your glass.
  • Gently muddle the strawberries and basil to release the aromatic essences.
  • Add ice and top with sparkling water.
  • Stir to mix well.



How to muddle:
Use a wooden spoon to gently mash the strawberries and basil leaves

Hand Size Portions

Nutrition Facts
Shrub and Soda - Balsamic Strawberries and Basil
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Palm: 0
Fist: 0
Handful: .5
Thumb: 0

Hand Portions

When you look at the nutritional values of a meal to log what you are eating, that is called tracking macros. A lot of people use this method to reach their health goals.

Looking at hand portion size and using this method to gauge how and what you eat is also a great method to help you reach your health goals. Many people who use this method often think this form of tracking meals is easier and more sustainable for a lifetime.

Want to learn more about hand portion size and how to use it to reach your goals? Check out the article How to Get Started with Hand Portion Sizes.

Michelle Johnson Jerome is an expert on busting through perfectionism. She is passionate about helping others live life with purpose and joy. By drawing on her extensive experience as a nutrition coach, personal trainer, and yoga instructor she helps develop a realistic approach to goal setting that allows you to make progress and stop obsessing over mistakes.

Find other articles written by Michelle on her coach profile. Discover your "easy button": learn how to manage life's unpleasant parts so you can move forward, reach your goals, and live your best life.

  • Michelle Jerome says:

    This fall, I made this recipe with late-season strawberries in Bismarck, North Dakota. I was planning a trip to visit my mom and daughter in Grand Forks, North Dakota, so I brought the Balsamic Strawberry Shrub with me. We enjoyed it as a mocktail while we played games and enjoyed garden fresh BLTs.

    • Michelle Jerome says:

      I also think that if you like your drinks a bit sweeter, add more of the shrub syrup to your drink.

      I discovered that I prefer the drink when I first put the syrup in the glass and then add a little more syrup after pouring the sparkling water. What can I say – I like a more intense flavor.