Blackberry Shrub Lemonade |

Simple Sundays | Blackberry Shrub Lemonade

Blackberry Shrub Lemonade is made with Blackberry Shrub Syrup and sparkling lemonade – just add a splash of rum for the grownup version.

Blackberry Shrub Lemonade |
Simple Sundays | Blackberry Shrub Lemonade

Blackberry Shrub Lemonade can be tailored for children and grownups alike. Combine this Blackberry Shrub Syrup with sparkling lemonade, or add a splash of rum for the grownup version.

A glass filled with Blackberry Shrub Lemonade at a picnic.

Summer Picnics

“Mom, that was the best picnic ever. I liked that,” my little dude said as we packed up the baskets and folded up the blankets. I liked it, too. Loved it, actually.

The last couple of weeks, we have been getting used to a new routine. Or perhaps I should say, lack of one. Each week brings new adventures – there have been summer camps, surprise visitors, dinners with friends, and lots of downtime.

It’s been nice not to have to be the morning drill sergeant, and better yet, not to have to pack lunches each night. I think of all the school year minutia, it’s the lunch packing I dread most.

Packing a picnic is a different story. I nearly forgot the happiness a simple picnic can bring until the children and I lazed on a blanket under a shady tree at one of our favorite parks. There was a time when picnics were part of my every weekend, sometimes quite elaborate ones that friends and I would plan for outdoor concerts or days at the beach.

But my picnics with the children have been simpler. We have fresh fruit from our weekend market haul, a fresh loaf of bread, and our favorite cheeses, and charcuterie. I nestle the goodies in the basket and leave the assembly for when we get to our shady spot.

An outdoor picnic laid out on a blue and white plaid blanket.

Blackberry Shrub Lemonade

It wouldn’t be a picnic without something to sip, and for this picnic, I made a Blackberry Shrub Lemonade. Shrubs have been en vogue once again, and I’m loving how it makes use of extra or overripe fruits – or in my case, not-so-perfect blackberries (which happens more often than I would like).

I like to think of shrubs as simple syrups on steroids – the fruit is macerated in sugar with a spike of vinegar, resulting in a syrup rich with layered flavors; all you need is a splash of club soda for a refreshing drink. In this case, I used a sparkling lemonade, which received eager thumbs up from the kids.

Blackberry Shrub Syrup mixed with sparkling lemonade at a picnic.

Now, don’t you worry, I did not pack an alcoholic cocktail for the kids. But if I had not been driving, I would have considered bringing the rum for mine. When I got back home, I enjoyed the grown-up version of the Blackberry Shrub Lemonade by adding a good splash of rum. It brought the whole drink to another level. If I had a home with a wrap-around porch and rocking chairs, this is what I would carry in my hand as I rocked to the tune of summer cicadas at sunset.

Crackers in a glass jar on a picnic blanket.
Apricots in a small metal pail on a picnic blanket.
Blackberry Shrub Lemonade in glass bottles.
Blackberry Shrub Syrup in glass bottles surrounded by blackberries.

I made a promise to myself that afternoon: I am going to pack as many picnics as I can this summer. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and it doesn’t always have to have a shrub (though it probably will), but one thing is for sure: it will bring joy.

Blackberry Shrub Lemonade |

More Summer Beverages

Dalgona Coffee with Boba
Peach Sorbet Mojito Float
Blueberry Ginger-Basil Soda
Ginger Cantaloupe Sangria
Horchata Cold Brew Latte

Blackberry Shrub Lemonade

Blackberry Shrub Lemonade is a drink that can be tailored for children and grownups alike. A traditional shrub cocktail, of course, has a shot of liquor, but can be omitted for little ones so they can also say cheers to summer. If you are packing for a picnic and do not have far to go, you can even prep your cocktails in tall bottles beforehand for easier travel.
Course Beverages
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 926kcal


For the Blackberry Shrub Syrup:

  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

For the Blackberry Shrub Lemonade:

  • 1 oz blackberry shrub syrup
  • 2 oz rum omit for a kid-friendly lemonade
  • Sparkling lemonade


Make the Blackberry Shrub Syrup:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the blackberries and sugar and mash using a large spoon, muddler, or potato masher. Let it sit at room temperature for about 2 hours or tightly covered in the refrigerator overnight. Press the blackberry juice through a fine sieve over a bowl, really taking the time to press every bit of juice from the berries. Stir in the white balsamic vinegar, pour into a sterilized glass jar and store in the refrigerator. This should keep for up to a month.

Make the Blackberry Shrub Lemonade:

  • Pour 1 oz blackberry shrub syrup and 2 oz rum (omit if making a kid-friendly beverage) into a glass, top with sparking lemonade and ice. Enjoy.


Nutrition information is for one recipe of the Blackberry Shrub Syrup. Add sparkling lemonade (plus rum for grownups) as desired.
Adapted from Blackberry-Rum Shrub, Saveur.


Calories: 926kcal | Carbohydrates: 233g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 506mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 218g | Vitamin A: 616IU | Vitamin C: 60mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante


Recipe Rating

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  1. Cookin Canuck

    Who can blame your little guy?  What a gorgeous picnic, Liren!  And that lemonade looks like the perfect way to cool off.

  2. Amy | Club Narwhal

    Liren, what a gorgeous and simple way to celebrate the joy of summer! I love big elaborate spreads, but the sweetest memories always seem to come from those lazy summer days with a basket of fruit (and some cheese and crackers!). This lemonade sounds like bliss!

  3. sue/the view from great island

    I love vinegar, and I’ve made countless fresh fruit vinegars. but for some reason, I’ve never made a shrub. The color on this one is gorgeous and I can imagine it must have such a tongue tingling blackberry flavor!

    • Liren Baker

      And I’ve yet to try making a fresh fruit vinegar (now I must!). That sounds incredible, I’m sure it makes for some wonderful salad dressings. I hope you try the shrub – I’m loving it!

Kitchen Confidante®