Currant Shrub

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Redcurrants Redcurrants

Shrub is traditionally made using sweetened rum or brandy and citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. This version however makes great use of excess redcurrants to produce a version of this wonderfully old-fashioned liqueur.  Serve as an aperitif either on its own or mixed with a splash of fresh orange juice.


  • Fresh Redcurrants (approx 500grams) - enough to produce 300ml strained redcurrant juice
  • 600ml Rum or Brandy
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 300g granulated sugar

Making shrub

  1. Wash the redcurrants (no need to top and tail them, or even remove the stalks) and put them in a preserving pan with 200ml water.
  2. Bring to the boil and simmer until the currents are soft and have released all the juice - this will usually take about 35 to 40 minutes.
  3. Strain the juice through a jelly bag or some muslin.
  4. Allow the juice to cool and measure.
  5. Mix the redcurrant juice, rum or brandy, nutmeg, and orange zest in a wide necked jar (I use a wide necked clipped top jar for the purpose). If mixing the alcohol and juice forms a gel don't worry this will disappear when we add the sugar.
  6. Store in a cool dark place for about a week.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a pan, add the sugar, and heat very gently until the sugar has dissolved.  Make sure that you do not allow the mixture to boil or overheat as the alcohol will evaporate.
  8. Strain the mixture using a sheet of musiln or jelly bag, and decant into sterilised bottles.  
  9. Seal the bottles and store in a cool dark place for several months.  Made in July or August this drink will be ready in perfect condition for Christmas.

Variations: Citrus Shrub

Replace the redcurrant juice with 250ml strained Seville orange juice and 50ml strained lemon juice for a more traditional version of Shrub.

Phyl @ The Allotment Gardener

Lifelong gardener and allotment enthusiast. Now have 3 allotments!

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