Apple-Cinnamon Shrub


Shrub is a sweet-tart beverage made of fruit or fruit juice, sweetener, and vinegar. Ingredients are combined and let to rest and do its magic inside the refrigerator. The tartness from apple cider vinegar stimulates the appetite and hydrochloric acid. Shrubs may be diluted with water, bubbly water or added to salad dressings. The resulting slightly “pickled” apples are a delicious addition to salads, snacks, smoothies or topping for sweet potatoes or butternut squash.

MAKES: 3 cups

1 cup apple cider vinegar

2/3 cup 100% maple syrup or honey

3 medium organic apples, unpeeled, small dice

1 Ceylon cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon powder

1/4 teaspoon cardamom seeds or powder

  1. In a liter-sized, wide-mouth Mason jar combine apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Stir until combined.
  2. Using a funnel, add diced apples, cinnamon and cardamom. Put lid on jar and after tightening, shake to blend all ingredients.
  3. Place the jar in the back of your refrigerator and let it sit for 3-7 days. Taste the shrub beginning on day three. If you’re happy with the flavor, strain apple and spices and reserve for other use. Press firmly to remove all the liquid.
  4. Store strained shrub in a clean jar and keep refrigerated. It is ready to use now, but will mature in flavor over time. Store, refrigerated for up to two months.



Sueson Vess is a professional chef, author/food writer and educator helping people eat healthier, especially those with food intolerances and others with chronic illnesses. She is passionate about nutrition and helping others achieve and maintain a “good for your health” lifestyle. There are always delicious, helpful and healthy solutions! Her focus is on “Foods with Benefits” – learning to increase delicious beneficial foods in your daily life. Sueson makes bone broth at Nature’s Own in North Carolina, and teaches cooking classes at FirstHeath and Duke Cancer Center. She is a regular contributing writer for Sandhills Naturally and Gluten-Free & More publications.