Watermelon-Basil Shrub (A Drink!)

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Watermelon Shrub Vertical

Can I interest you in drinking a shrub?

Uh, what? As strange as it sounds, shrubs are a “drinking vinegar” that dates far, far back as a way to preserve fruits. It was most popular in the U.S. during colonial times, but if you are from the Deep South you might know that it never really went out of style.

I came across this yummy, fun drink while I was attending a wedding in Texas earlier this year and decided it would be a perfect recipe for cooling off during the hot days of August. Sometimes shrubs are mixed with alcohol to make a snappy adult beverage, but don’t worry if you have not been able to reintroduce alcohol. This is a perfect mocktail for the AIP set to enjoy at the next BBQ! Refreshing, unique, and no hangover included!

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Watermelon-Basil Shrub (A Drink!)
Prep time
Total time
Serves: Approx. 16
  • ½ medium watermelon, cubed, rind removed (approx. 5-6 cups)
  • 1 large bunch basil, chopped
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • Sparkling mineral water
  • Ice
  1. Crush and mix melon, basil, and honey in large, glass bowl or jar. Cover tightly and allow to macerate in refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  2. Pour fruit mixture into blender and process until smooth.
  3. Strain through cheesecloth to remove seeds and pulp. (You should have approx. 2½-3 cups juice.)
  4. Mix juice with vinegar.
  5. Pour ¼-1/2 cup each in bottom of serving glasses, depending on the flavor strength you like.
  6. Fill glass with ice and add sparkling water to fill.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
Syrup will keep in refrigerator, ready to add to drinks, for several weeks.


About Angie Alt

Angie Alt is part of the blogging duo behind Autoimmune Wellness. She helps others take charge of their health the same way she took charge of her own after suffering with Celiac and other autoimmune diseases; one creative, nutritious meal at a time. Her special focus is on mixing “data with soul” by looking at the honest heart of the autoimmune journey (which sometimes includes curse words). She’s also a world traveler who has been medically evacuated from two foreign countries. Strategizing worst-case scenarios is now something of a hobby. She is a Certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and author of The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook: Eating for All Phases of the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. You can also find her on Instagram.


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