Strawberry Basil Drinking Vinegar

Some shrub makers prefer to use the heat process method, and if you don’t want to wait for your drinking vinegars to “mature,” this is the way to do it. Be sure to use the heat process method if your recipe includes herbs that chill easily such as basil. 

Photo by Sheryl Normandeau


3 cups (525 g) fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, stems removed, chopped

1 cup (175 g) fresh basil leaves, washed, roughly chopped

1 cup (175 g) granulated sugar

1 cup (240 mL) water

1 cup (240 mL) white wine vinegar


  1. Sterilize two 500 ml mason jars, lids and rings as outlined above. Place sugar and water in a saucepan and heat on medium-high. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then reduce the heat.
  2. Add the prepared fruit and herbs and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes on medium-low. Remove the mixture from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. Strain off the fruit and herbs using cheesecloth and reserve the liquid. Add the vinegar to the syrup and stir to combine.
  4. Place the new drinking vinegar in the sterilized jars, seal, and label. Store it in the refrigerator – or use the contents right away by pouring them over ice water (sparkling or non-carbonated) or to add a fruity zip to your favourite cocktail. Complementary shrub syrups can also be added to tea, fruit juice and lemonade.

Try these drinking vinegar combinations or invent your own!

Saskatoon, rosemary, white granulated sugar, red wine vinegar

Strawberry, jalapeno pepper, white granulated sugar, balsamic vinegar

Mango, mint, white granulated sugar, white vinegar

Apple, lemon verbena, honey, white wine vinegar

Rhubarb, Meyer lemon, fennel, white granulated sugar, white wine vinegar

Pear, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar

Beet, lemon, white granulated sugar, white vinegar

Cucumber, mint, honey, white wine vinegar

Elderberry, white granulated sugar, red wine vinegar Plum, agave, apple cider vinegar Sheryl Normandeau spends an inordinate amount of time at the public library (mostly because she works there). When she’s not browsing for cookbooks in the collection, she can usually be found in her garden – or writing about it.

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