Vinegar in a drink?  Really?  Sounds strange!

This is the most common reaction we get when folks hear about our product.  There are a few things to consider - first, we are using a high quality balsamic vinegar that has natural flavors and sugars from fruit.  This sweetens the vinegar some that prevents it from having such a strong bite.  Second, in some of Drink Shrub's soda we have other ingredients such as coconut water to help smooth out the flavor.  Third, when we mix and bottle Drink Shrub we pasteurize the soda to ensure safety and prevent any microbial growth that could harm the flavor or shelf-life.  This is a heat-based process that helps smooth out the tartness as well!

What is a Shrub?

A Shrub is a beverage that originated hundreds of years ago when vinegar was used to preserve fruit. After months of infusion the vinegar would take on the sweet natural taste of the fruit that had been soaking in it. This resulting infusion was then used to create beverages. The natural sweetness of fruit balanced out the bitterness associated with vinegar (balsamic in our case), creating an explosion of flavor unavailable anywhere else!  More information about the shrub's history can be found on Wikipedia on the following page:

Is small barrel Shrub really Whole30® compliant?

Drink Shrub Soda complies with the Whole30® guidelines outlined here. 

  • There are no sugars added to our soda, real or artificial.

  • Drink Shrub is a soft-drink. There is no alcohol in the product.

  • The naturally occurring sulfites are part of the "fine print" portion of the Whole30® program, as described on the Whole30® Program Rules page.

  • What about the sugar content on the label? The sugar present in a Drink Shrub soda is naturally occurring from fruit. Which is also listed in the fine print section of the whole30 website: Whole30® Program Rules

*Whole30® and the Whole30® logo are registered trademarks of Thirty & Co, LLC

Is small barrel Shrub part of the "Whole30 Approved" program?

The "Whole30 Approved®" program requires a product and company to go through a vetting process by the great folks at Whole30®.  As Drink Shrub is in its infancy stage, we have not yet applied to be evaluated under the Whole30 Approved* program.  More information about the Whole30 Approved® program can be found here.

*Whole30 Approved® and the Whole30® logo are registered trademarks of Thirty & Co, LLC

Does the vinegar in small barrel shrub have health benefits?

We at Drink Shrub are not doctors, nor do we play them on TV!  We most definitely don't want to mislead or misinform our friends who enjoy the soda!  So I guess that means we aren't qualified to say one way or the other.   We did find some articles and resources that have opinions - but of course consult your health professional! (We have no relationship or endorsements with any of the links below).

  • SFGate article on balsamic vinegar can be found here. This article discusses the effects of balsamic vinegar on cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose.

  • article titled "Is Balsamic Vinegar Good For You?" can be found here.

  • has an article discussing both balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar with numerous references that you may find interesting here.

What about Coconut Water?

Same disclaimer we used for the vinegar.  We are not doctors!  We don't want to mislead or misinform our friends, so again we'll refer you to your health professional as well as some resources we found online:

  • Dr. Axe discusses the potassium, electrolyte replacement, blood pressure, and cholesterol effects of coconut water here.

  • The almighty WebMD has a point of view as well worth discussing, found here.

  • Healthline has an interesting article regarding the health benefits of coconut water here.

So if Balsamic Vinegar has benefits, and coconut water has benefits, what about small barrel Shrub?

Well, the only other ingredient in our soda is carbonated water - nothing else!  

Is small barrel shrub sugar-free?

No.  There are natural sugars in the balsamic vinegar and fruit used to flavor the drink.  There are no added sugars or sugar substitutes, however.

Are there any chemical preservatives in small barrel shrub?

No.  The low pH of balsamic vinegar along with pasteurization process used during production are all the preservatives you need!