Plum Shrub
Girl Meets Dirt founder Audra Lawlor uses the precious juice left over from making plum paste (plumbrillo) for this bright, tangy shrub. Thomas Payne

While a similar product can be made by macerating whole plums in sugar to extract a syrup, Girl Meets Dirt founder Audra Lawlor likes the harmony of using the “waste” from her Plum Paste (Plumbrillo) for this tangy cocktail mixer. Add a splash of the shrub to a glass of seltzer, or shake over ice with tequila and lime.

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Plum Shrub Plum Shrub
Italian plum juice is cooked with just two ingredients—sugar and white wine vinegar—to create a sweet-tart shrub. It’s an excellent cocktail mixer, or mixed with seltzer, makes a refreshing nonalcoholic beverage.
Yield: makes about 5 1/2 cups
Time: 30 minutes


  • 3 cups strained Italian plum juice (reserved from Plumbrillo), divided
  • 3¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar


  1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed pot fitted with a candy thermometer, add 1 cup of the plum juice and all of the sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to ensure the sugar dissolves quickly. Regulate the heat to prevent the mixture from boiling over, and cook until it is thickened and registers 230–234°F on the thermometer (the “thread” stage), about 10 minutes.
  2. Immediately stir in the remaining 2 cups plum juice. Add the vinegar and cook until the mixture registers 182°F on the thermometer, then maintain that temperature for 1 minute to pasteurize. Remove from the heat, and carefully transfer the shrub to sterilized bottles or jars. Clean the rims and sides with a kitchen towel and seal firmly with lids. Follow recommended water bath canning procedures to jar, or let cool completely and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.