Originally published in January 2020; updated October 2021
Honestly, I haven’t been into cocktails lately. I’m more into drinks I can sip on without having to worry about my blood alcohol level and whether or not I’m going to need a nap later because I decided to go back for seconds. I like drinks that taste great and make me feel amazing, like this Apple Cardamom Shrub mocktail. It’s sweet, tart, tangy, and effervescent all at the same time which makes it feel like a fancy cocktail, but in reality it’s a mocktail you could sip on all day long if you wanted to!
The base of this mocktail is called a shrub. No, not the kind you grow in your yard, this one you make in your kitchen! If you’ve never had one before, a shrub is basically a sweetened vinegar-based syrup, often called ‘drinking vinegars’. They’re typically comprised of 3 ingredients; fruit, sugar, and vinegar. Of course you can add spices and herbs like I did here with the green cardamom pods too if you want!
There are 2 ways to make a shrub…cold and hot process. For this Apple Cardamom Shrub Syrup we are going with the simplest method, the cold process method.
To make a cold process shrub you simply combine shredded apples in a large glass jar with brown sugar and cracked cardamom pods. Pour apple cider vinegar over the top. Stir to combine, seal the lid on tight, and place in a cool dark place, like your pantry for 3-7 days. Everyday, shake or stir the shrub well. On day 3 begin tasting the liquid, once the flavor is intense enough for you and all of the brown sugar has dissolved, strain out the solids and refrigerate the syrup for over a month.
Looking for apple inspired mocktails to try in the new year? Here are four more ways you can indulge in celebratory sips without the libations!
Sparkling Spiced Apple Cider Mocktail || Yes to Yolks
Sparkling Berry Apple Cocktail || The Little Epicurean
Caramel Apple Cocktail || Savor the Flavour
Non-Alcoholic Apple Cider Mimosa || Watch What U Eat