beverages / cocktails

Pear Shrub Cocktail

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This pear shrub cocktail is a great drink to use up your seasonal produce, especially items that may have blemishes or imperfections or produce that is nearing the end of its season. Shrubs, also known as drinking vinegars, were popular initially during the American Colonial era, but have made a resurgence in recent years. They keep well and can be mixed with a variety of ingredients, so every drink can be different from the last!

Recipe and photo by Rambler Sparkling Water, adapted from a cocktail from Vic & Al’s in Austin, Texas

Pear Shrub

Makes 40 oz. of pear shrub


  • 4 c pears (approximately 4 pears), chopped
  • 4 c sugar
  • 4 c filtered water
  • 4 c white wine vinegar


  1. Roughly chop the pears, removing the stems in the process.
  2. Place pears, sugar, and water in a saucepan or pot that is large enough to safely boil the mixture.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil and make sure all the sugar is dissolved before turning off heat.
  4. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool.
  5. Once cooled, strain out the cooked fruit.
  6. Add vinegar to the mixture.
  7. Place the mixture in the refrigerator and allow it to sit for 24 hours.  This helps the flavors to meld and mellows out the vinegar flavor.

Pear Shrub Cocktail

Makes 1 serving


  • 1 oz pear shrub
  • ¾ oz vodka
  • ¾ oz Batavia Arrack
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4-5 oz Rambler or your favorite sparkling water
  • Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish


  1. Fill a 16-oz glass with ice.
  2. Add the shrub, spirits, and salt.
  3. Top with Rambler and garnish with thyme

Recipe Notes and Variations

  • While Vic & Al’s recipe calls for Batavia Arrack, a spirit distilled from molasses and fermented red rice, this pear shrub would be great with vodka, a silver rum, or even a silver tequila. You can play around with the measurements of the shrub and spirits and create something uniquely yours.
  • The beauty of shrubs lies in their versatility. Once you’ve made your shrub, simply add sparkling water for a fun mocktail. 
  • Depending on your final shrub’s taste, you can add as much or as little to your drinks as you would like. 
  • Shrubs should be kept refrigerated and will keep for one month.
  • If you enjoyed this apple cocktail, try our Plum and Ginger Old Fashioned.

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