How to Make a Meyer Lemon Shrub Drink Recipe

Last Updated on February 17, 2022 by Anne-Marie

Looking for a fermented shrub recipe? This Meyer lemon shrub recipe makes a fabulous shrub drink cocktail or mocktail.

A glass of fermented shrub drink with lemon slices and a spoon.

What are shrubs drinks?

The name “shrub” comes from the Arabic word “to drink.” Shrubs were very popular with people like Thomas Jefferson and Martha Washington in the colonial days and are making a comeback.

If you like the taste of fermented drinks like kombucha, you’ll love shrub cocktails and mocktails, too!

Don’t worry. Shrubs aren’t like drinking vinegar. That’s because they combine sweet and tart flavors.

While shrub mixers and shrub syrup are available in finer liquor stores and online, they’re not cheap. That’s why I wanted to start making them at home.

Why this recipe works

Have you sipped any fermented shrub cocktails at your favorite restaurant or trendy bar? If so, you’ll have to try your hand making a homemade Meyer lemon shrub!

It’s so easy to do and a great way to take advantage of those gorgeous Meyer lemons you see in the store.

You can also make this fruit shrub drink with regular lemons.

Making a lemon shrub recipe

Since I wanted to learn more about making a fermented shrub recipe, I purchased a copy of Michael Dietsch’s book, Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times.

Michael’s book is marvelous because it goes into the history of the shrub drink. It shows you the different ways of making cocktail shrub drinks.

He also goes into the ingredients you can use, such as the various types of fresh fruit, vinegar, and sugars. I also like how he explains making a cold process shrub and the hot method.

Two cocktail glasses of lemon shrub drinks on ice with sliced lemons and spoon.

Making a sugar free shrub

I was surprised to find out that fruit shrub recipes contain so much sugar! (Some are sweetened with simple syrup or maple syrup.)

So I decided to experiment with monk fruit sweetener in my shrub recipe.

I based my recipe on Michael’s Shrubs: An Old Fashioned Drink for Modern Times grapefruit shrub recipe.

He mixes grapefruit peels with the sugar for only an hour in his recipe. Not enough time, in my opinion.

Instead, I zested the Meyer lemons instead of peeling them. Then I soaked the lemon zest for a week in the vinegar.

I think it worked out superbly as I ended up with a bright yellow shrub mixer that had a tart but sweet lemony flavor. Perfect!


How to make this recipe

The fermentation process makes approximately 2 cups of fermented Meyer lemon shrub.

  1. Place zest, monk fruit, and apple cider in a clean canning jar. Place lid on the jar and shake until monk fruit sweetener dissolves.
  2. Put the jar in the refrigerator for one week. Occasionally shake the contents of the jar.
  3. After the week is up, strain the contents of the jar using an ultra-fine mesh filter. Discard solids.
  4. Keep the shrub mixer refrigerated between uses.


What kind of lemons should I use?

I like using Meyer lemons for this shrub drink recipe since they’re sweeter than regular lemons. Meyer lemons are available during the winter and early spring, usually from December through May.

However, if you want to use regular lemons, use less zest and more monk fruit sweetener.

(If you love Meyer lemons, check out my Lemon Flavored Meringue Cookies Recipe!)

What kind of vinegar should I use?

I would use any variety of apple cider vinegar. Raw apple cider vinegar is a good choice because it has probiotic and prebiotic health benefits.

However, it’s unfiltered, so you may not like that cloudiness in your drink.

I haven’t tried making a shrub with other vinegars, you could try:

  • red wine vinegar
  • white wine vinegar
  • champagne vinegar
  • white vinegar
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • palm vinegar
  • date vinegar
  • rice vinegar

Overhead view of two glasses of lemon shrub cocktails with sliced lemons and spoons.

Straining the shrub

To strain the zest from this Meyer lemon shrub drink recipe, use an ultra-fine mesh filter.

I recommend using:

a nut milk bag

a hop bag used in making homebrewed beer

or a coffee filter in a pinch

Should I refrigerate my homemade shrubs?

Some people feel that the vinegar and sugar preserve the fruit juice in a shrub. As long as you store it at room temperature in a dark place away from direct sunlight, it should be fine.

However, I suggest refrigerating this shrub recipe to make it last longer. Plus, a cold shrub makes a lovely drink mixer!

How long does the shrub last?

You can keep the shrub in the fridge for up to a year or longer.

However, if you find any mold growing in your shrub, toss it! You can always make more.

Are vinegar shrubs healthy?

Like kombucha and other fermented foods, homemade shrubs have probiotic properties. Probiotics improve gut health and may lower cholesterol.

Probiotics and vinegar can also suppress appetite and make you feel full faster. In turn, this can help with weight loss.

Some people feel that vinegar shrubs are suitable for diabetics as it helps keep blood sugar levels in check and improve insulin sensitivity.

A cocktail glass of Meyer lemon shrub drink with sliced lemons and spoons.

How to make a Meyer Lemon Shrub Cocktail

Making Meyer lemon shrub cocktails and mocktails are so much fun! Here’s a Meyer Lemon Shrub Cocktail recipe I concocted to get you started.

1) Fill a tall glass with crushed ice.

2) Add some Meyer lemon shrub drink, some vodka, and some Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine to taste.

3) Top it off with plain seltzer or club soda.

4) Stir and taste. Then add more Meyer Lemon Shrub Mixer, Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine, and/or seltzer if you wish.

5) Serve with a slice of Meyer lemon as a garnish.

Remember, this Meyer lemon shrub drink recipe is a STRONG mixer. So, it’s a matter of taste as to how much you’d want to use.

I suggest trying a teeny bit with lots of ice, a bit of booze, and plenty of seltzer to start. You can always add more shrub mixer.

Try different liquors such as vermouth, gin, rum, or tequila.

Make delicious non-alcoholic drink recipes!

Mix the Meyer lemon shrub with ingredients like:

  • a variety of flavored seltzers
  • plain soda water
  • fruit juice
  • a sprig of mint
  • a cinnamon stick
  • fresh ginger
  • unsweetened iced tea
  • pieces of fresh fruit
  • and more.

Serve in a quart mason jar with a fun straw!

Make new recipes, experiment, and have fun with your delicious mocktails!

More cocktail recipes

Juniper Champagne Cocktail

Peach & Cherry Beer Margarita Recipe

Peach Whiskey Cocktail

White Wine Sangria

Fruit Stand Watermelon Cocktail

Frozen Wine Cocktails

Sparkling Savannah Vodka Watermelon Cocktail

What kind of fermented shrub recipe do you want to try next?


Meyer Lemon Shrub Drink Recipe

Meyer Lemon Shrub Drink Recipe

Looking for a fermented shrub recipe? Try this Meyer lemon shrub recipe. Makes a great lemon shrub drink cocktail or mocktail.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 7 days
Total Time 7 days 30 minutes


  • 7 Meyer lemons, zested (approximately 2 tablespoons zest)
  • 1 1/4 cups monk fruit sweetener
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar


  1. Place zest, monk fruit, and apple cider in a clean canning jar. Place lid on the jar and shake until monk fruit dissolves.
  2. Put the jar in the refrigerator for one week. Occasionally shake the contents of the jar.
  3. After the week is up, strain the contents of the jar using an ultra-fine mesh filter such as a paper coffee filter. Discard solids.
  4. Keep shrub mixer refrigerated.


Makes approximately 2 cups of Meyer Lemon Shrub.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 ounces

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 49Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 1g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally published on April 9, 2015, and February 10, 2017. Updated with new pictures and information.

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