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Spiced mulberry shrub

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Spiced mulberry shrub syrup is a great way to preserve mulberries with apple cider vinegar, sugar and spices. Traditionally shrubs were a syrup using equal parts of sugar, vinegar and fruit. My modern twist on the shrub recipe reduces the sugar and adds sweet spices and a touch of honey to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit. I have here used a cold process to retain the fermented goodness of the vinegar.

This mulberry shrub recipe infuses the blended mulberry fruit with blood orange juice and zest, sweet spices, coconut sugar and honey and then adds the vinegar after straining. The spice and herb blend I have created for this shrub includes vanilla, cinnamon, star anise, pink pepper, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, coriander, cardamom, thyme and lemon balm. The spiced mulberry shrub has a rich fruit flavour with delicious notes of spice and citrus.

Spiced mulberry shrub pairs wonderfully with honey whiskey in my Mulberry shrub cocktail recipe with angostura bitters and a garnish of a twist of blood orange, lemon balm and pink pepper. Spiced mulberry shrub is also delicious with any sort of bubbles such as mineral water or champagne, or as a dessert syrup.


Spiced mulberry shrub

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Serves: Makes 2-3 500ml jars Cooking Time: 2 ½ hours (15 minutes preparation, 15 minutes jar sterilising, 2 hours infusing)


  • 2-3 500ml glass jars or bottles
  • 450 grams mulberries
  • 50 grams, about 2 blood oranges, zest and juice
  • 200 grams coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons honey, I used the urban beehive inner west honey
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Small knob grated ginger
  • Vanilla pod with seeds scraped
  • 1 cinnamon stick ground
  • 3 star anise ground
  • 1 teaspoon pink pepper corns ground
  • ½ teaspoon pimento allspice ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds ground
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh lemon balm



Remove the zest from the oranges and rub this with the sugar to release the oils, set this mixture aside while you make the rest of the shrub


Juice the oranges


Remove the stalks from the mulberries and wash them well


Add the orange juice and mulberries to a blender and blend


Grind the spices


Add the sugar, zest, blended mulberry fruit and orange juice to a saucepan or large bowl along with the thyme, lemon balm, ginger, spices, honey and water (although I am not heating the shrub I find using a large saucepan with a lid is a good place to make the shrub because it can be left undisturbed to infuse)


Stir to dissolve the sugar


Allow the shrub to infuse for 2 hours


Meanwhile sterilise your jars or bottles (see Resources)


After 2 hours add 3/4 cup of the vinegar and strain into another saucepan or jug using a fine mesh sieve


Bottle the shrub and keep in the fridge for 1 week


Delicious with mineral water and any other bubbles such as prosecco or champagne, with gin and in other cocktails such as my Mulberry shrub cocktail and poured over desserts


This recipe is inspired by Jaimee Edward’s from Cornersmith recipe for Strawberry and basil shrub although I have here used a cold process following Michael Dietsch see his wonderful book Shrubs. For more information about shrubs and their fascinating history see Shrubs by Michael Dietsch. Food52, The Kitchn and Food in Jars have other great resources on how to make shrubs. I used the urban beehive inner west raw Sydney honey. Micro lemon balm from Urban green farms.

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