The history of shrubs

Ever wonder where shrub drinks came from? Although drinking vinegars of various kinds have been around for centuries around the world from Asia to Ancient Rome, shrub drinks have their origins in Colonial America when this was a popular way to preserve fruits in season so that they could be enjoyed in fruity drinks all winter.

Shrub drinks are made from fruit that has been mashed and macerated in sugar then mixed with vinegar (usually apple cider vinegar but can be any kind of vinegar) to create a flavorful syrup which is then mixed with water to create a delicious drink. In the days before refrigeration, vinegar was a popular all-natural preservative (think pickled vegetables) and so it found it’s way into beverages as well.

Shrub drinks were popular well into the late 19th century. But as refrigeration became a household commodity, the popularity of shrub drinks declined and faded into the annals of history.  In 2011 and 2012, shrubs made a resurgence onto the scene as the craft cocktail movement caught fire in the US. Many creative bartenders started using shrubs to bring flavor, complexity and a subtle tartness to their cocktails, but shrubs were still mostly used as part of another drink. We thought it was time to let shrubs shine again.

Tartly Shrubs are a modern take on this historic drink. We’ve mixed together delicious all-natural fruit juices and purees with a splash of apple cider vinegar, then lightly sweetened it with natural cane sugar. We believe that early Colonial Americans hit upon a great balance of sweet and tart that is both complex and refreshing. And instead of just getting the shrub concentrate that you have to mix with sparkling water yourself, we’ve made Tartly ready to drink, adapted to today's modern lifestyle.

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