Plum Shrub Cocktail

August 27, 2013

Yesterday we all got together and made a plum shrub, and now we’re ready to put it to good use. That’s right. It’s cocktail time.  You didn’t think I was gonna leave you hanging, did you? In addition to adding a depth of flavor, a shrub brings balance to a cocktail in place of other more traditional ingredients like simple syrup and citrus. For this cocktail I wanted to use a fair amount of our hard-earned plum shrub. In turn, I countered the sharpness of the vinegar with a sweet bourbon, then layered in a bit of nuttiness with a dry sherry. The cool part is that the flavor or the shrub is constantly evolving. Two weeks from now, when the vinegar has mellowed and the shrub is a bit sweeter, you may think about switching the bourbon for a rye. Or, maybe even add a dash of bitters. You see how great shrubs are? Pretty magical stuff, indeed.

Plum Shrub Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

[linktopost slug=”plum-shrub”]

Plum Shrub Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Plum Shrub Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Plum Shrub Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Plum Shrub Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Plum Shrub Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Plum Shrub Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Plum Shrub Cocktail // HonestlyYUM

Plum Shrub Cocktail

A wonderfully complex yet simple cocktail where the sharpness of the vinegar pairs nicely with a sweet bourbon, and is layered with the nuttiness of a dry sherry.
Servings: 1 cocktail



  1. Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass.
  2. Fill your mixing glass with ice.
  3. Stir for a full 30 seconds. Sometimes good things take time.
  4. Insert the large ice cube into an old fashioned glass.
  5. Strain your cocktail over ice and garnish with a slice of fresh plum.

(images by HonestlyYUM)


WHERE are these glasses from?? They’re beautiful! Also, of course, can’t wait to make this when it’s plum season again!

I made a slightly larger than usual batch. (My normal batches are around 1 quart, but this one is going to be a bit over. My giant batches from last year were two quarts—so much shrub!) I actually realized things had gotten a bit out of control again this year when I went to combine the macerated plums and vinegar in a jar and discovered I was out of quart jars….. Then I counted over a dozen and a half quarts of various shrubs and bitters between my fridge and liquor cabinet. Oops! (:

I can’t wait to see how the cayenne came through. It had a really bright aroma at first, but it’s kind of disappeared amongst the fruit and vinegar now. I’m pretty confident it will show up in the final product though, even if it’s a subtle heat. We shall see!

Carey, you are too funny!! 😛 I don’t think I have the organizational skills to hang with you in the shrub game. That being said, you’re definitely doing it right. Letting them sit and really getting the best flavor. I think the cayenne will come through more than you think, you just wait!

I had never heard of a shrub before! How sad for me. This cocktail sounds amazing. Looks amazing, too – that glass you used is beautiful.

Yessss. I’m a sucker for pretty much any drink poured over a king cube, and this is no exception. I can’t wait to filter my shrub and try this. I think the hint of cayenne in it should play very nicely with everything! (I was mixing last year’s plum shrub with applejack, ginger beer, and apple bitters. Delicious, but a liiiittle too easy to drink.) 😉

I wish I could try your shrub Carey. Did you make another large batch? The cayenne is no doubt the perfect touch. A little spice always makes everything better!

This is the prettiest drink I’ve ever seen! Your pictures on all your postings are stellar!

Oh how you make me want to take a generous sip of that beautiful cocktail! I need to get my hands on some plums and get to work.

what a great looking cocktail.. and different. I read about shrubs for the first time this week . I could use a nice drink like that right now.

Another home-run for HonestlyYum. I’m a bourbon kind of guy, will have to make one or more of these over Labor Day. I’ve already got the shrub “growing” in my refrigerator. 😉 By the way, where did you get that old-fashioned glass. It’s beautiful! And as always, your photographs are spectacular. Nice job!

Thank you Homer. I got the glass from a store in Berkeley called The Gardener.

This looks insanely good. I’m going to try my hand at a shrub. I had never heard of it until yesterday. How long does the shrub last for in your refrigerator? Can you do it with any fruit or only stone fruit?
I’ll be dreaming about this cocktail tonight.
xo Quinn
Quinn Cooper Style

Thanks Quinn!! It can last for a few months, but make sure you check for mold before using, and smell it before you use it to make sure it’s not fermented.

This looks fantastic. And by fantastic I mean I would spend a whole day happily waiting for the sun to go over the yard arm, if I knew there was one of these waiting for me.

If it’s wrong that cocktail time is my FAVORITE time, then I don’t wanna be right! This plum shrub is perfection!

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