Pear Cinnamon Shrub Mocktail Recipe

pear cinnamon shrub

Verywell Health / Jordan Provost

Total Time: 30 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min

Shrub, also called drinking vinegar, is a sweet and tangy fruit and vinegar syrup that is often infused with spices or herbs. It makes for a delightful drink base. When topped with something sparkling, it tastes similar to kombucha.

Shrubs are made with an equal ratio of fruit, sugar, and vinegar. This recipe calls for apple cider vinegar, though you can use just about any kind of vinegar you like.

Don’t feel locked in by this recipe—shrubs are infinitely customizable. You might try pairing berries with white wine vinegar and a splash of balsamic, rhubarb with mint, or white peaches with cardamom. It’s an easy way to lock in the flavor of seasonal fruit for months to come.

Shrubs can last for up to six months when refrigerated in an airtight container. Because the shrub itself packs such a flavorful punch, a small pour is delicious when topped simply with ice and club soda or cold water. Or, for an alcoholic version, add champagne or another sparkling wine, or a shot of liquor and club soda.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 medium pears, chopped into roughly half-inch pieces
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 star anise pod (optional)
  • Club soda
  • Ice


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and brown sugar to a simmer over medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the chopped pears, cinnamon, and star anise, and stir the ingredients to mix well.

  2. Cook at a simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The pears should be tender and look tired.

  3. Add a cup of the vinegar and stir. Add the rest of the vinegar in small amounts until you reach your desired ratio of sweet and tangy. Bring the mixture to just a simmer and immediately remove from the heat.

  4. Pour the shrub through a fine-mesh sieve into a heat-proof container. Discard the solids.

    Or, save the sweet, spiced pears and eat them with ice cream, stir them into oatmeal, or enjoy with yogurt and granola.

  5. Let the shrub cool completely and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Pour an ounce, or a couple of tablespoons, of shrub over ice and top with club soda to taste.

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By Claire Bugos
Claire Bugos is a health and science reporter and writer and a 2020 National Association of Science Writers travel fellow.