Cucumber Mint “Shrub” Soda

Cool refreshing homemade cucumber mint vinegar-based soda, tangy and sweet! Perfect for a hot summer day.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Cooling time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2-3 cups of syrup, enough for 2 quarts of soda


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup white wine vinegar (can sub plain white vinegar)
  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 1 cucumber, peeled if the peels are thick, chopped
  • Seltzer water


1 Boil water and sugar: Put 4 cups of water and the sugar into a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and boil uncovered for 10 minutes.

2 Add white vinegar, boil and reduce: Add the white vinegar and boil uncovered for 15 more minutes, until the liquid has reduced to a couple of cups. (Now you have vinegar simple syrup.)

3 Add mint leaves: Stir in the mint leaves and boil for a minute more. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.

4 Strain mint leaves, chill syrup: Strain out the mint leaves and pour the vinegar simple syrup into a jar. Chill until ready to make soda.

5 Mix with cucumber, ice, soda water: Fill a glass with ice cubes and a several pieces of cucumber. Add the syrup and soda water in about a 1:3 ratio, syrup to water, or whatever works for you to achieve the level of intensity you want for your soda. Stir with a spoon.

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  • Sandy S

    Wow! This is all news to me. Will look forward to playing with it! I have always loved the coolness of cucumbers and that lovely fresh feeling they leave when applied to my skin. Seems to me, that I remember a buttermilk drink that also includes cucumbers. Perhaps someone knows of it? Thanks Anna (above) for mentioning that a shrub might be soothing to the tummy as well, for I find that hot days can up-set my stomach. It certainly sounds refreshing!

  • Anna

    That funny, I never knew it had a western name. This is an ancient drink, called sekanjabin in the Middle East, you can make it without the mint too. It’s wonderful for drinking when it’s hot, but you can also use it for stomach aches, it helps with nausea much like ginger, and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It’s one of our favorite summer drinks.