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Vanilla Plum Shrub

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Calories: 158
2 cup of Vanilla Plum Shrub with vanilla bean and fresh plums on a plate

What would summer be without a refreshing drink? If you've never had a shrub, let us introduce you to our current beverage of choice.

When my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Mexico, we picked up a refrigerator magnet and a Christmas tree ornament to remember our trip by. This quickly turned into a tradition, picking these small tokens of remembrance up with every trip we go on as a family, and as cheesy as it is, I love these little collections.

a bowl of plums
two hands muddling sugar and plums in a pitcher for Vanilla Plum Shrub

Many years ago during our stint living in Houston, I began a new kind of souvenir collection: paper menus. I was visiting my parents and friends in Portland (where I'm from and once again reside) and came home with an assortment of menus from all the new places I'd tried. I took them to remember the trip by, but even more importantly, to remember the food by. I love trying to recreate and put my own spin on a delicious meal I've had, and I recently discovered that I'm not the only one. It turns out my blogging partner Natalie does the same thing. Great minds, I tell ya.

Last spring Natalie and her husband took a dreamy kid-free trip to New York and went to ALL the restaurants. Okay, not really, but let's just say they got around. They ate out three meals a day (at carefully selected and researched restaurants of course) and had plenty of drinks and other indulges besides. They were on a food mission. One of the things Natalie ordered while dining at Russ and Daughters was a plum shrub with vanilla bean. She came home raving about the drink and was eager to recreate it for me to try. Now that I have, I must agree that it is spectacular and worthy of being recreated in your kitchen, as well. Thank the Lord for paper menus!

macerated plums in a bowl

We recently received an invitation to participate in #drinkthesummer a virtual cocktail party hosted by our fellow blogger friend Sherrie from With Food and Love, and we just knew that with plums being in season, now was the time to share his genius libation with you. What I love best about shrubs (or you could call them drinking vinegars if you prefer), is that it can be sipped on or shared with children in its original non alcoholic form with just a little club soda added, or paired with a spirit and turned into a cocktail for the adults to enjoy. The perfect party drink!

Magnets and tree ornaments are lovely, but recreating a magical dining and drinking experience from the perfect vacation is the memento that keeps on giving. You may never make it to Russ and Daughters, but that doesn't mean you should miss out on this vanilla plum shrub. Cheers!

2 cup of Vanilla Plum Shrub with vanilla bean and fresh plums on a plate
2 cup of Vanilla Plum Shrub with vanilla bean and fresh plums
2 cup of Vanilla Plum Shrub with vanilla bean and fresh plums on a plate

Here's the complete list of bloggers participating in this virtual cocktail party! Be sure to check them all out for more #drinkthesummer libation inspiration.


With Food + Love | Basil Fig Vodka Smash
A Little Saffron | Beach Bum's Rum
A Thought For Food | Tarragon Tequlia Swizzle
Downshiftology | Limoncello Prosecco with Blueberries and Thyme
Heart of a Baker | Boozy Green Tea Mint Cooler
The Green Life | Spiced Plum, Fig & Kombucha Cocktail
Hummingbird High | Watermelon and Mint Agua Fresca
Floating Kitchen | Peach Sun Tea and Bourbon Cocktail
Appeasing a Food Geek | Basil and Black Pepper Gin Sour
Vegetarian Ventures | Garden Tonic Punch
Nosh and Nourish | Mango Margaritas with Chile Lime Salted Rims
The Foodie Nurse | Husk Cherry Margarita
my name is yeh | Choose Your Own Adventure Bloody Marys
Sevengrams | Cucumber, Gin and Chartreuse Cocktail
Wicked Spatula | Coconut Gin and Tonic
Eat Boutique | Sbagliatos and Homemade Sweet Vermouth
Nutritionist in the Kitch | Healthy Muddled Blackberry Pina Coladas
Chocolate + Marrow | Pequito Verdecito
The Solstice Table | Jalapeno Watermelon Cooler
HonestlyYUM | Watermelon, Fresh Herbs, & Sotol Cocktail
Seasonal Cravings | Strawberry Lime Gin Rickey
Salted Plains | Frozen Honeydew Daiquiris
Fix Feast Flair | Ginger-Berry Splash Cocktail
Turntable Kitchen | Summer Cooler Cocktails, Two Ways
Foolproof Living | Blueberry, Dark Cherry and Calvados Cocktail
Dessert for Two | Salty Melon Slush
The Broken Bread | Honeydew-Ginger Apricot Mojitos
Hungry Girl por Vida | Whisky Peach Alexander
Domesticate ME! | Watermelon-Basil Mezcal Margarita


Heartbeet Kitchen | Salty Watermelon Shrub Elixir
Tending the Table | Raspberry and Fig Hibiscus Cooler
Snixy Kitchen | Lavender Earl Gray Blackberry Ice Cream Floats
The Bojon Gourmet | Vanilla Rooibos Peach Ice Cream Floats
My Heart Beets | Spiced Pistachio Shake
Feed Me Phoebe | Watermelon-Cucumber Kombucha Coolers
Gourmande in the Kitchen | Stone Fruit Thyme Shrub Soda
dolly and oatmeal | Cold-Brewed Shiso & Hibiscus Tea Iced Latte
happy hearted kitchen | Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Fennel, Orange + Cardamom
I am a Food Blog | Cherry Vanilla Sodas
Tasty Yummies | Fig Vanilla Bean Almond Milk
Kale & Caramel | Emerald Beaut Green Spritzer
Earthy Feast | Watermelon Hibiscus Agua Fresca
Now, Forager | Sparkling Plumcot and Purple Basil Shrubs
The Pig & Quill | Brown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes
Well and Full | Peach Bubble Tea
Sweetish Co | The Best Frozen Hot Chocolate
holly & flora | Spiced Pineapple Shrub Sparklers with Black Tea + Coconut

Vanilla Plum Shrub

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Calories: 158


  • 1 cup Plums, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 Vanilla bean, seeds scraped, pod reserved
  • 1 cup Apple cider vinegar, unfiltered
  • 12-20 oz Club soda


  1. Place the plums in a glass jar or glass container along with the sugar and the seeds of the vanilla bean. Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, mash the fruit until it is fully incorporated with the sugar. Add the vanilla beans seeds & pod.
  2. In a small sauce pan bring vinegar to a gentle simmer. Pour the vinegar over the plum mixture and seal tightly. Shake the mixture a couple of times and refrigerate for 24 hours or up to a week depending on how strong you want the flavor to be.
  3. When ready to serve, strain the fruit mixture using a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
  4. Mix equal parts shrub with club soda over ice. Add more or less to your liking. Serve and Enjoy!