How to make a Grape Shrub Mocktail

This post is sponsored by Sprouts®. As always, all opinions and recipe are my own.

Celebrate grape season by making a Grape Shrub drink! This grape-apple cider vinegar drink recipe involves homemade grape drinking vinegar that’s beautifully balanced between sweet and tart. This is one of the best mocktails around! Makes enough for 24 drinks.

A pink mocktail garnished with fresh grapes and a lime wedge

I’m so excited to be teaming up with Sprouts Farmers Market to bring y’all this delightful fresh grape drink.

You might be wondering, “What is a shrub?”

A shrub is a nonalcoholic syrup that’s also known as a “drinking vinegar.” Typically, it involves a fresh fruit (or vegetable), sugar and vinegar. Some people drink it straight while others dilute it with a mixer, like a sparkling water, club soda or ginger ale.

Sometimes, shrubs are made with a hot process, where fruit is heated with the sugar and it macerates more quickly. For these grapes, I wanted to use a cold process. While it takes longer, I think the end result is absolutely sublime.

Grape season is happening right now, and I’m celebrating with this grape mocktail. It takes a little bit of time to make the shrub, but the end result is incredible and will last for a long time!

Why I love this recipe:

I love working with Sprouts Farmers Market because they let me be creative and have a ton of fun with seasonal ingredients. I love shopping at Sprouts for fresh produce because they offer so many options, including unique seasonal veggies and fruits, like these grapes.

(Also, I’ve had fun in the past making seasonal recipes involving unique melons, like this Galia Melon Jamón Skewers (Whole30 Appetizer) and Strawberry Melon Salad, too! Sprouts knows their produce!)

To celebrate grape season, I thought a grape shrub would be the way to go, highlighting Gum Drops, a seasonal variety that’s super sweet with a tart finish.

The Gum Drop grapes pair well with the acidic punch from the vinegar, and this easy mocktail recipe reminds me of kombucha. (Though it’ll depend on your mixer if it actually has bubbles!)

This grape-apple cider vinegar drink recipe is bright, smooth and balanced. While you get a punch of acidity when you sniff the drink, it doesn’t taste off-putting, and the whole thing goes down easy—perfect for a hot day like today.

Other easy mocktails to make: Blood Orange Mocktail Mule | Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktail | Pomegranate Ginger Orange Sparkling Mocktail | Arnold Palmer Iced Tea Lemonade Mocktail | Sweet Sunrise Mocktail | Virgin Margarita (Margarita Mocktail)

Need more drink inspiration? Head on over to my Drink Recipe Index for ideas!

Grapes in a colander with cane sugar and apple cider vinegar

What you’ll need to make this shrub drink

  • A quart-sized mason jar
  • Muddler or potato masher
  • Fine mesh strainer

In addition to these tools, you’ll need just a few ingredients. You might have some of ‘em on hand already:

  • Gum drop grapes—or your favorite seasonal grape variety from Sprouts. The red and purple grapes will give your shrub a better color than green grapes, even though the flavor will be similar.
  • Granulated sugar—also known as white sugar. There is no substitute for this in a shrub, so please don’t attempt to use something else.
  • Apple cider vinegar—this is our acidic element. I highly recommend using apple cider vinegar, though you could use white vinegar if you don’t have ACV on hand. I do not recommend using balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar with this recipe.
  • Sprouts Lemon Italian Soda—you could use your favorite sparkling water, club soda or even ginger ale here, but we especially loved the bubbles and lemon zing this Italian soda added to the mocktail.
  • Ice—technically, this isn’t an ingredient, but I think it’s super important to pour your shrub over ice so it’s nice and cold before you sip!

What can I make this mocktail for?

The beauty in a non-alcoholic drink like this Grape Shrub is that you can make it for any time or occasion.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Afternoon pick-me-up
  • Evening sipper (spiked, perhaps?)
  • Baby or bridal shower mocktail
  • Tailgate
  • Mama happy hour—or any happy hour at home where you’re not necessarily wanting to drink something heavy
Collage showing how to make grape shrub

How to make this apple cider vinegar drink recipe

Make the Grape Shrub

Wash the grapes thoroughly and remove from stem.

Transfer the grapes into a 32 oz. mason jar. Alternately, this could be done in a bowl, and the grapes can be transferred to the mason jar after the next step.

Using a cocktail muddler or a potato masher, smash the grapes until all are crushed.

Measure in the 1 ¼ cups sugar, and stir until combined.

Cover the mason jar, and store at room temperature for 24-36 hours, shaking occasionally to mix the ingredients until the grapes are soupy and macerated.

Once macerated, strain the liquid from the grape seeds, skins and pulp. There should be 1 ½ cups of the grape syrup when strained.

Pour the cup of apple cider vinegar into the grape syrup, and stir until combined.

Transfer back to the mason jar or another airtight container, and transfer to the fridge to chill. You can also leave your shrub mixture at room temperature in a cool, dry place because the sugar and vinegar should preserve the fruit.

Make a Shrub Mocktail

Pour an ounce of the shrub over ice, then top it with the Sprouts Lemon Italian Soda. I like to use a ratio of 1 to 6 for this shrub, but you can use more or less, depending on your tastebuds. So give it a try.

Garnish your shrub mocktail with grapes and and a lime wedge, and enjoy immediately.

Collage showing how to make the apple cider vinegar drink recipe

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

I love the idea of serving a shrub to friends as we cool off on a hot late summer’s day. I also love the idea of serving it at any type of gathering, whether it’s an at-home brunch, a tailgate at home, a baby shower or a bridal shower or simply a happy hour.

The beauty in a shrub is that you can customize it to your tastebuds and that your guests can, too.

If you want to make this recipe to share, here are some tips to do just that:

  • Make extra. While this recipe was more than enough, if you’re going to host several friends, you might want to double it. Better too much than not enough, and you can’t make the shrub syrup once friends are there.
  • Serve it with various mixers. Some people like sparkling water with their shrubs while others lime soda, like lemon-lime soda or ginger ale.
  • Make it in advance. You can make the shrub syrup up to a week in advance. Toss it in the fridge when it’s ready, and let it chill out until it’s time to mix with your mixer.
Collage showing how to make a shrub drink cocktail

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different type of grape in this mocktail recipe?

If you can’t find Gum Drops, absolutely! Choose your favorite kind of grape, and don’t worry if it’s seedless—you’re going to be straining the grape seeds and pulp from the liquid before drinking.

What is the drink shrub made of?

Shrub drinks typically involve a fresh fruit/vegetable/herb, sugar and vinegar.

Do shrubs go bad?

Generally speaking, no. The flavors will begin to degrade after time, but a shrub should not go bad on the countertop or in the fridge.

Do you have to refrigerate shrubs?

The combination of vinegar and sugar should preserve the fruit, so it’s not necessary to put your shrub in the refrigerator. However, you can keep it in the fridge. I personally like this because I like mine to be cold!

Two grape shrub cocktails on marble with grape garnishes

Quick tips and tricks for making the best homemade shrub drink

  • Don’t rush it! The flavors of a shrub strengthen over time, and while they’ll be ready for drinking in a day, if you have the patience, the shrub will be even more potent a few days down the line.
  • How to store: The shrub will be safe to keep at room temperature for weeks/months on end because the vinegar and sugar preserve the fruit. I like to keep mine in the fridge because I like it cold when drinking.
  • Mix and match! The world is your oyster with what you can mix with a shrub. We love the Sprouts Lemon Italian Soda because of its balance, but you should try the shrub with your favorite sparkling water, club soda, ginger ale or even a lemon lime soda.
A cocktail with fresh grapes and a lime floating in it on marble
Yield: 24 servings

Grape Shrub Mocktail

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 20 minutes

Celebrate grape season by making a Grape Shrub drink! This grape-apple cider vinegar drink recipe involves homemade grape drinking vinegar that’s beautifully balanced between sweet and tart. This is one of the best mocktails around!

Ingredients

Grape Shrub

  • 1 lb. Gum drop grapes
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

Mocktail

  • 1 oz. grape shrub syrup
  • 6 oz. Sprouts Lemon Italian Soda (or another mixer, like club soda, sparkling water, ginger ale, etc.)

Instructions

Make the Grape Shrub

  1. Wash the grapes thoroughly and remove from stem.
  2. Transfer the grapes into a 32 oz. mason jar. Alternately, this could be done in a bowl, and the grapes can be transferred to the mason jar after the next step.
  3. Using a cocktail muddler or a potato masher, smash the grapes until all are crushed.
  4. Measure in the 1 ¼ cups sugar, and stir until combined.
  5. Cover the mason jar, and store at room temperature for 24-36 hours, shaking occasionally to mix the ingredients until the grapes are soupy and macerated.
  6. Once macerated, strain the liquid from the grape seeds, skins and pulp. There should be 1 ½ cups of the grape syrup when strained.
  7. Pour the cup of apple cider vinegar into the grape syrup, and stir until combined.
  8. Transfer back to the mason jar or another airtight container, and transfer to the fridge to chill. You can also leave your shrub mixture at room temperature in a cool, dry place because the sugar and vinegar should preserve the fruit.

Make a Shrub Mocktail

  1. Pour an ounce of the shrub over ice.
  2. Top with 6 oz. of the Sprouts Lemon Italian Soda and stir. The recipe can be doubled if you have a bigger glass!
  3. Garnish with grapes and lime or lemon wedges, and enjoy.

Notes

Adjust the measurement of the final shrub to taste, as everyone’s tastebuds are different and the grape shrub is STRONG.



Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24 servings

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 0gSugar: 25gProtein: 0g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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