By Lindsay Cohn

Published on March 9, 2017

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Photography by CHRISTINA CHERRIER VIA EATWELL101

Contrary to popular belief, vinegar isn’t just for salad dressing. We love it in everything from savory soups to sweet desserts — and, yes, even cocktails. Old school drinking vinegars, also known as shrubs, became popular in the 1600s and have seen a major resurgence in recent years. (Before we go any further, the term shrub refers to a syrup made of fruit, sugar, and vinegar.) Of course, you can totally play with flavors by adding different herbs, spices, and ingredients like honey and vanilla. In short, shrubs are a great way to elevate your cocktail game. Plus, they’re surprisingly simple to make. Ready to channel your inner mixologist? Here, eight spiked shrubs to try this spring.

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Photography by JUSTEN CLAY FOR IMBIBE MAGAZINE

Confederados Cocktail

Our favorite way to ring in spring? A new pair of sunnies and a Confederados cocktail. This cachaça, watermelon shrub (made with white balsamic) and lime cooler is as pretty as it is splendid to sip on a warm afternoon.

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Photography by AISA MOLLENKAMP VIA SALT & WIND

Bourbon Peach Smash

Thirsty Thursday just got a lot better thanks to this peach shrub (made with red wine vinegar), bourbon, orange bitters, and ginger beer. Muddled peaches and mint give this beverage a burst of bright, juicy flavor. 

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Photography by CHASE THE FLAVORS

Beet Shrub, Lemon, and Whiskey Cocktail

This cocktail doesn’t miss a beet (sorry, we couldn’t resist). But seriously, homemade beet shrub and lemon juice add zest, while angostura bitters and whiskey turn this into a delicious drink that’s sure to impress even the most particular cocktail connoisseur.

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Photography by THE PANCAKE PRINCESS

Strawberry Balsamic Shrub

Strawberries and balsamic are a classic combo—and for good reason. This drink takes it up a notch with muddled basil, a splash of sparkling water, a squeeze of lime juice, and an ounce (or two) or gin.

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Photography by FOOD BABBLES

Bourbon, Balsamic, and Cherry Shrub Cocktail

Sweet, tart, and oh so tasty! Balsamic, cherries, honey and vanilla remind us of a decadent dessert—but aren’t at all cloying. Bourbon and lemon-lime soda are a brilliantly balanced finishing touch in this cocktail.

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Photography by FLOATING KITCHEN

Blackberry-Ginger Shrub Rum Cocktail

Meet your new go-to springtime cocktail. A blackberry, ACV (apple cider vinegar), balsamic, and rum-laced take on a Moscow Mule, this not-too-sweet beverage is a sublime way to end the week—or start the weekend.  

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Photography by CALI ZONA

Tangerine Mint Shrub

Planning a BBQ or rooftop picnic? Zesty citrus and cool mint make this the perfect sunny day refreshment. This irresistible shrub recipe calls for champagne vinegar, tangerine juice, and an oleo-saccharum, made with tangerine peels, mint leaves, and turbinado sugar.

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Photography by SHE EATS

Sparkling Rhubarb Shrub

Rhubarb often gets a bad rap, but we love it in pies, tartes, and pretty pink drinks. The tartness of the shrub (rhubarb, white wine vinegar and cane sugar) pairs perfectly with the tequila.