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, and just a touch of pure 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.
We are proud to be a member of the Good Food Mercantile, an organization headed by Alice Waters, the chef and mastermind behind Chez Panisse (Berkeley, CA) and one of the first pioneers of the organic movement, promoting sustainable practices and the use of real ingredients in food.
In 2018, it was an honor to learn that out of 2000+ submissions, our Chai Pear Shrub was named a 2018 Good Food Award Winner and our Blueberry Rosemary Shrub was named a 2018 Good Food Award Finalist.
We are also proud members of the Specialty Food Association, a thriving community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs.
In 2018, it was an honor to learn that out of 3000+ submissions, our Honeydew Jalapano Element Shrub & Club® won a sofi™ award in the Cold Beverage - Ready-To-Drink category.