Plum, cardamom + black pepper shrub

Plum, cardamom + black pepper shrub | My Darling Lemon Thyme

I know I might be leaving this one a bit late in the season, but should you still have a few plums hanging around, this is a great way to preserve a little summer goodness to enjoy over the coming months. And if plums are well and truly gone from where ever you live (or the season hasn’t started if you’re living up the top end of the world) well, consider this a heads up for next season 🙂

Plum, cardamom + black pepper shrub | My Darling Lemon Thyme

Shrubs are one of those cool old-school drinks which have come back into fashion in the last few years. They’re easy to adapt to use just about any fruit you my have at hand (golden peaches and vanilla would be another great beginning-of-autumn idea to try if plums are no longer available) and are a great low-sugar alternative to fizzy drinks as you only use a little of the syrup, then top up with sparkling water, to taste. It’s also a great way to get more apple cider vinegar into your diet, something I don’t need any encouragement with being the vinegar-addict I am!

Plum, cardamom + black pepper shrub | My Darling Lemon Thyme

Plum, cardamom + black pepper shrub | My Darling Lemon Thyme

Plum, cardamom + black pepper shrub | My Darling Lemon Thyme


Plum, cardamom + black pepper shrub

I love the addition of cardamom + black pepper, however this would still be delicious without them if you prefer. Makes approx.1 litre syrup

  • 1 kg Plums (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cups organic unrefined sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (roughly crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (roughly crushed)
  • 1-1 1/2 cups organic apple cider vinegar
  • sparkling water (to serve)
  1. Combine sliced plums, sugar and spices in a glass bowl or container and mix well. Cover and place into the fridge. Stir plums everyday for 4 days, in which time the juice from the fruit will have mingled with the sugar to create a lovely syrup. 

  2. Strain out plums (and compost), then add apple cider vinegar to the syrup (1 cup if you’d like the vinegar flavour to be less prominent, 1 1/2 cups if you like it stronger). I like to leave this for another day or two before drinking for the flavours to mingle a little more, however it can be served right away if preferred.
  3. To serve, pour 1-2 tablespoons of syrup into a glass and top up with sparkling water. Add ice if you like. The syrup will keep indefinitely in the fridge.


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  • Jo Woon
    March 28, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    That sounds delicious 👌

    • mydarlinglemonthyme@gmail.com
      April 11, 2019 at 10:12 am

      Thank you 🙂

  • Grace
    April 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    The shrub is delicious. Don’t discard your plums afterwards. Use them in the plum and olive oil cakes recipe. Yummy.

    • mydarlinglemonthyme@gmail.com
      April 15, 2019 at 12:02 pm

      Great idea! x

  • Fiona Manoon
    April 22, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    Healthy and refreshing drinks.
    Much needed thing in hot summers to have.
    Thanks for sharing !!