Charlie and his wife Angela, like many young couples, enjoyed filling their evenings hosting dinner parties, creating craft cocktails for themselves and friends, sharing recipes, and always experimenting with new DIY projects (food and otherwise) at home.
When Angela was pregnant with their first child, she was craving something that had the complexity of a cocktail but couldn’t find a good, healthy, non-alcoholic beverage on the market so they set out to create one!
During this time, Charlie and Angela got involved in a non-profit group that foraged local fruit in Cambridge, Massachusetts where they learned all about jamming, pickling and canning. One day, after harvesting 400 pounds of crabapples, they were looking for recipes for their bounty and came across the concept of shrubs.
Shrubs (not small bushes) have a long and complicated history dating back to the 15th century but the main ingredients for shrubs are vinegar, sugar (or some kind of sweetener) and fruit. The shrubs that Charlie and Angela make are based on the 17th century American version of the shrub that became popular during the colonial era as a way to preserve fruit harvested throughout the summer using vinegar (instead of citrus). Shrubs have evolved since then and they are excited to bring them back to your table.
Element [Shrub]® is made with organic apple cider vinegar, whole fresh (non-GMO) fruit, herbs and spices and just a touch of organic cane sugar. The vinegar adds savory notes to the fruit and spices to create a flavor profile that is complex and refreshing.
Enjoying the challenge of creating new recipes, Charlie and Angela tested out a few shrubs using local fruit from their neighborhood with crab apples, sour cherries and peaches and different herbs and spices. After all, they were trying to create a drink that was complex on it is own. Once they created their first batch they added it to some sparkling water, and the result was a drink that was incredibly refreshing and satisfied every aspect of Angela’s craving AND was made with real, clean ingredients.
Charlie and Angela were so taken with the concoction that they were inspired to experiment with other combinations, which resulted in creating a product that is truly unique and wholesome enough to drink every day. The shrubs, which once seemed like a simple solution to a healthy non-alcoholic drink, became a passion that they are happy to share with you.
Follow their journey and join the shrub lifestyle to live a happier and healthier life. Cheers!
2018 has been both an exciting and incredibly humbling year for us. We love what we do and what we make but we are biased, but to get recognition from two of the most respected organizations in the natural food space (The Specialty Food Association & The Good Food Mercantile) has been an incredible honor for us.
We are proud to be a member of the Specialty Food Association, Good Food Mercantile & Virginia's Finest.