Make Citrus Drinking Vinegar


medium bowl
liquid measuring cup
dry measuring cups
citrus juicer or reamer
saucepan and ladle
airtight storage bottles


3 large organic lemons
1 large organic grapefruit
white wine vinegar

Drinking vinegars are a lovely little sweet treat when made with fresh flavorful fruit, and high quality vinegar.  Aside from just merely sipping this ambrosial liquid, it can be used in salad dressings, drizzled over ice cream, or dilute with carbonated water and add ice for a delightful and refreshing shrub!

Shrubs, which are sweet, fruity beverages with a kick of vinegar’s brightness, were a historic way of preserving fresh berries and fruit. This recipe is a great entry into the world of shrubs. Bright with citrus flavor, our drinking vinegar is ready the day after it is started. Refreshing on a hot summer day, and a great reminder in the fall and winter of earlier garden bounties.

Step one:  Peel the zest.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the grapefruit and lemons in big chunks, being careful to minimize including the pith, which will make it bitter.

Step two:  Juice the fruit.

Juice the grapefruit and lemons. Make sure to measure the amount of juice that the fruit produces, as you will want to measure out equal parts sugar and white wine vinegar. Our fruit produced 1¼ cups juice. Yours may contain slightly more or slightly less. If you would like a less sweetened vinegar, you may reduce or omit the sugar content. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Step three:  Muddling and measuring.

Measure out the same amount of sugar as there is fruit juice, and add it to the zest. Muddle the sugar and zest thoroughly.

Step four:  Cover and rest.

Cover container with plastic wrap and set aside overnight.

Step five:  Add juice and stir.

The next day, pour the juice into the zest-sugar mixture, mixing until the sugar is well dissolved.

Step six:  Strain and boil.

Strain the zest and pulp out of the liquid, then transfer the liquid to a two quart saucepan. Add the same amount of white vinegar as juice. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Step seven:  Boil and stir.

Boil gently for five minutes, stirring. Take off the heat.

Step eight:  Bottling.

Let the drinking vinegar cool completely before transferring to a clean bottle(s) to store in the refrigerator.

Not just for sipping!

Drinking vinegars are good sipped on their own, but they can be mixed with sparkling water and fresh fruit for an exciting summer treat, or they can be used as an ingredient in salad dressings, sauces or in place of basic vinegar. We love to have them on hand in our refrigerator for impromptu cocktail hours, and once you’ve mastered this recipe, you’ll be able to build your own with your favorite fruity ingredients.