A Thanksgiving AF Cranberry Shrub

cranberry shrub recipeWhether you call it a “shrub” or a “drinking vinegar,” there’s no denying that when you mix fruit with vinegar and sugar, and then mix that shit with booze and club soda, you get a really fucking great cocktail. It’s sweet, it’s tart, it’s boozy, and it’s bubbly; what’s not to love? In this particular case, the fruit is cranberries (because, hello, Thanksgiving is less than a week away!) and the booze is Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon. I won’t waste your time going on about shrubs or the fact that Thanksgiving is the official holiday of Festive AF — because Thanksgiving is six fucking days away (have I mentioned that yet?) and you need to get your ass in gear. So, without further ado, my cranberry shrub recipe.

Cranberry Shrub

With this recipe, you’ll get about two cups of shrub mix that will keep in a mason jar in the fridge for up to two weeks (but I’m willing to bet it will disappear on or before Thanksgiving). The mash also makes for a really good non-boozy cranberry sauce (you can find my boozy version here).


2 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
2 cups white balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom


Combine the cranberries, sugar, and vinegar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir it well, and let it reach a boil (it will get all kinds of foamy and shit on top). Reduce the heat to low, add the cinnamon and cardamom, stir, and let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 more minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve (using a spoon to get all the juices out), and let it cool completely.
cranberry shrub recipe

Cranberry-Bourbon Shrub Cocktail

I think this cocktail is at its best with equal parts shrub, bourbon, and club soda, but feel free to play with the ratios to suit your taste. You can also eliminate the bourbon for a festive Thanksgiving mocktail.

Cranberry shrub
Club soda
Fresh cranberries and/or rosemary sprig for garnish


To assemble the cocktail, stir together equal parts chilled shrub mix and bourbon. Add one large ice cube, or a handful of regular cubes, then top off that shit with a heavy pour of cold club soda. Garnish with fresh cranberries and/or a sprig of fresh rosemary and enjoy!

Thanks to my new booze sponsor/sugar business, Brookside Wine & Spirits, for providing the Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon for this recipe. If you live in Kansas City, go see them for your next bottle (and tell them I sent you!).

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8 Responses

  1. Jo

    I’m often the lucky taste tester of these fancy AF cocktails. I have to say, this was one of my favorites! Very refreshing.

  2. Jan

    Hi Emily, How long can I keep that fucking cranberry shrub in the fridge? Couple months?

    Thx, Jan

    • Emily

      I just realized I have comments. Holy shit! I thought they were all spam. Sorry for the delay! I’d say it will stay in the fridge for at least a few weeks. And sugar and vinegar work as preservatives so maybe longer? I mean, until it grows mold? I’d say two weeks to be safe, but I bet it won’t stick around that long.

  3. Deanna

    I bet this would be really good using your boozy cranberry sauce (if there’s leftovers). Might need to strain it a bit, but I’m thinking it would take a bit like an Old Fashioned/cranberry shrub. Which sounds delicious AF to me.

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