Shrubs are going through an explosion in popularity across our fine land! If you haven’t heard the term before know that some refer to it as a ‘drinking vinegar’ but I think that’s a horribly unappetizing label for something so delicious. Instead I like to think of it as a local alternative to lemonade – it’s sour, bitter, tart and sweet all at the same time. And this apple shrub recipe has enough flavour to bring the boom!


This post is sponsored by Ontario Apple Growers. who challenged us to create an apple beverage – we, of course, wanted to work simple preserving into that. The partnership just made sense and we are proud to share this with you! Check out their blog for more apple ideas. This shrub will last for weeks – or longer – in the fridge and is another example of how easy preserving is (that’s me cheering you on to get started!)

Unlike lemonade, shrub’s are also extremely versatile. I start by making a concentrate which you can drink straight as a digestif, watered down with still or sparking water, added to a cocktail, used to enhance a salad dressing or even added to tea or warmed cider for a campfire warmer.

This is a fantastically simple infusion that is also a preserve (it will last for weeks or longer in your fridge if covered). Preserving is this easy!

This spicy maple apple shrub uses all local ingredients (to us at any rate). We’ve skipped on sugar and added maple syrup as the sweetener. I do like mine tart so you may wish to sweeten it further but start with my ratio and work your way up (it’s easy to make it sweeter but difficult to un-sweeten once you’ve done that).

The other secret to making this drink explode with flavour is that we add apples to the cider vinegar to infuse the vinegar with even more apply goodness. This makes the drink less like sweet vinegar and rounds out the acid by adding the natural sweetness from the fresh fruit. Don’t be too worried about what apples you use although sweet, firm apples would be my preference.

Lastly, if you aren’t a fan of heat you can skip the chiles as optional. Those who love heat can add more but be warned – if you store the concentrate in your fridge for any length of time it will continue to get spicier even after straining the liquid!

This recipe starts with making the concentrate then we’ll show you a few recipes for drinking spicy maple apple shrub below.


Spicy Maple Apple Shrub Recipe

Prep time

2 mins

Cook time

15 mins

Total time

17 mins

Author: Joel MacCharles

Recipe type: Infusion

Serves: 2 cups


  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 3 apples, chopped into 6-8 sections (the more they are chopped, the more flavour you will get). Include the core, peel and seeds (this is an easy recipe)
  • 3 apples, chopped into 6-8 sections (the more they are chopped, the more flavour you will get). Include the core, peel and seeds (this is an easy recipe)
  • ⅔ cup maple syrup
  • ⅔ cup maple syrup
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes


  1. Place all ingredients in a pot over medium-high heat until it begins to simmer.
  2. Adjust heat to keep at a simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain into a clean jar.
  4. Cool and taste. Add maple if you wish to make it sweeter.
  5. This infusion will last, covered, in your fridge, for weeks or more. It is safe to use as long as there is no mold or odd smells.

Here’s a few options to drink Spicy Maple Apple Shrub


Pour 2 tablespoons of concentrate into a cocktail shaker.  Add ice. Shake until cold. Pour into small, heavy glass and drink.


Fill a glass with ice. Fill the glass 1/4 full with concentrate. Top with soda. Lightly stir, top with afresh mint leaf and serve.


Make a glass of herbal tea – apple cinnamon, ginger or mint will all be good pairings. Pour tea into cup and add concentrate to taste (1-3 tsp)


Rub rim of a clean glass with a piece of orange zest. Muddle fresh mint and zest from above into the bottom of a cocktail glass. Fill glass with ice. Add 1-2 Tbsp Spicy Maple Shrub Concentrate. Add 2 Tbsp bourbon. Fill with soda, garnish with a fresh mint leaf and you’re game!

Bir Cevap Yazın