The Lion's Mane Strawberry Shrub Is a Mocktail Full of Antioxidants

The Lion's Mane Strawberry Shrub Is a Mocktail Full of Antioxidants

I admit it, I love hobbies. One thing I don’t want to put on my hobbies, however, is discipline. That’s why the long-term projects like sewing, knitting, and sourdough bread-making elude me. I barrel past the starting line and midway through the long haul of a project, I simply stop. The initial rush wears off, I enter a new phase of my moon cycle, and there we go, another project left forty percent finished.

There’s one culinary pursuit, however, that was made for folks like me. I’d love to introduce you to shrubs. If you’re entirely foreign to shrubs, it’s quite simple. Fruit or vegetables or both + sugar + apple cider vinegar + time = shrub. That’s it. So in the spirit of shrub-making, here’s my Lion’s Mane Strawberry Shrub recipe, adapted from Michael Dietsch’s Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times.

First, you need to make the shrub. Then you can indulge in all of the recipes! 

Strawberry Peppercorn Shrub

What you need to know

  • You’ll need a mason jar, or a jar with a lid, and fine mesh strainer. Cheesecloth doesn’t work too well.

  • You can usually sub any quality vinegar with apple cider vinegar if you don’t have it around. Most shrubs use ACV as a base, but I like experimenting with the different flavor profiles.

  • Making a shrub takes 1-2 weeks! Set a phone reminder and rest easy knowing each step takes less than 5 minutes. Seriously, the hardest part is straining the liquid on Day 4.

  • Once your shrub is ready, a little goes a long way. Remember to treat it more like a syrup to add to things, versus an 8-ounce glass to chug.


  • 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) strawberries, hulled and quartered

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

  • ½ cup red wine vinegar

  • ½ cup white wine vinegar


  1. Place strawberries, sugar, and pepper in a large jar. Tighten lid and shake to combine.

  2. Place in refrigerator to macerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

  3. Add vinegars, tighten lide, shake, and return to refrigerator for 2 more days.

  4. Position a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl and pour the mixture through to remove the solids. Save the leftover strawberries for a little jam.

  5. Combine the strained syrup with the vinegar and whisk to incorporate any undissolved sugar.

  6. Pour the mixture into a clean mason jar and cap it. Shake well to incorporate and place in the refrigerator one week before using.

Lion’s Mane Strawberry Shrub



  1. Add the Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract Powder and Strawberry Peppercorn Shrub into a glass.

  2. Blend with frother.

  3. Top with sparkling water.

The health benefits of shrubs and mushrooms

Shrubs, on their own, are great for your gut. The blend of fruit, sugar, and vinegar is amazing for digestion and the natural fermentation that happens boosts the gut biome. Depending on the fruit and veggies you use, the shrubs brings those benefits, as well. In this case, strawberries support the immune system and amp up your skin’s glow. Peppercorns enhance nutrient absorption and offer antioxidants that fight oxidative stress.

Combine all of that with the power of Lion’s Mane mushrooms, known for its cognitive and digestive benefits, and this is a powerhouse recipe. A little like kombucha, the soda water helps break up the intensity of the shrub.

As you experiment with fruits like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and rhubarb, and drinking vinegars like red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar, you can add in even more health benefits.

How to use shrubs

Shrubs are most common in cocktails, especially because the vinegary, sugary mixture brings out the best in the fruit or veg of choice and with time, it becomes a little syrupy like the consistency of simple syrup on coffee counters everywhere. The vinegar amps up the acidity, and the flavors seem to bounce off the roof of your mouth in the best way.

Make a shrub with your fruit or veggies that are on their way out with no recipe or use in sight. Or, capture the fresh varieties of the season that only come around once so you can enjoy it jarred for the seasons to come.

Fruit shrubs are the most common, but let me tell you that savory shrubs are incredible. Celery shrubs and tomato basil shrubs are two of the most incredible. You can use shrubs for:

  • Mocktails, health tonics, and fancy club sodas

  • Add-ins like fruit syrup for your coffee and tea recipes

  • Salad dressings like vinaigrettes

More shrubs please

Shrubs are actually as American as apple pie. In colonial America, this beverage technique was used to make sure that fresh fruit and vegetable stores kept longer and was most frequently used with brandy. Now, it seems to be a best-kept secret whispered in the stalls of farmers markets and in bartender group chats everywhere.

I’m still confused about why shrubs haven’t taken off in pop culture, especially one that idolizes the Butter Board and making countertops full of communal nachos. Maybe the right creator hasn’t talked about it yet, but this is my way of telling you that shrubs are the most delicious, set-it-and-forget-it liquid.

The real kicker here is that there’s nothing like it bottled on the market today, at least on a national level. Simply put, the best shrubs are made at home.

If you want to learn more, Michael Dietsch’s Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink for Modern Times is the guide, from history to recipes for about every fruit or vegetable you could think of to cocktail recipes.

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