Plum Shrub Fruit Liqueurs – Part 1

We have all heard of Sloe Gin but Plum Shrub?  Plum Shrub is very similar and is absolutely delicious and as a bonus not only do you get to drink the fruity, jewel coloured drink itself but the infused plums make a great pudding.  Serve them with icecream or thick cream or even a rice pudding.  Certain people have been known to have the plums over their breakfast porridge but I shall spare their blushes and not name them  (yes M I know the plums are fruit but ….!!)


Newly assembled Plum Shrub with rum, vodka and gin


Wikipedia says that sloe gin, raspberry vodka, plum shrub etc are fruit liqueurs.   Their definition of fruit liqueur is “a spirit infused with fruit and with added sugar”.  “Shrub” traditionally is a fruit infused vinegar based cordial but I have grown up with Plum Shrub being the name for what is really a liqueur made with a variety of spirits (probably depending on what was in the drinks cabinet)  – vodka, rum, gin etc. Whatever spirit you use is down to personal taste but don’t worry, the finished Shrub will be absolutely delicious.   Supermarket own spirits are fine to use here rather than the more expensive brand names.  And so are frozen plums that you may have lurking in the freezer.

The Plum Shrub itself can be used in cocktails or topped up with sparkling water if you are feeling virtuous and want a long drink   You can use it to make jellies or to moisten a sponge cake – plus you get to eat those plums!!!  (Just thought a Plum Shrub Trifle could be delicious and I love vanilla icecream served alongside the plums with a glass of Shrub poured over it)

And don’t forget prettily bottled Plum Shrub makes great presents and is just ready in time for Christmas if you make it now




Exact measurements are dependant on size of bottle you use and are determined by volume rather than weight – plums fill two thirds of bottle for instance

  • Plums
  • A lemon (per bottle)
  • granulated sugar
  • spirit of choice (e.g. gin, vodka, rum)


  1. Take a large jar (kilner is ideal) or a bottle with a top wide enough to take the plums
  2. Fill it two-thirds with halved and stoned plums adding the stones as well as these add a slightly almondy undertone which enhances the taste
  3. Add enough sugar to come up a third of the way up the jar and then the zest of the lemon
  4. Fill up with rum/vodka or gin and seal tightly
  5. Shake to dissolve as much sugar as possible and again on the following few days till sugar granules have completely disappeared
  6. Store in a cool dark place for 3-4 months and then strain into bottles.

Plum Shrub on a Winter’s night

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