Episode 009 - Shrubs and Mocktails

In this episode, I chat with Charlie Berkinshaw, the founder of Element [Shrub], and we get into all the fascinating details of that product.

Charlie’s a good friend of mine. His photography and instagram skills are ON POINT, and I know you’re gonna enjoy this interview.

Find Element [Shrub] on Instagram (@elementshrub), Twitter (@elementshrub), and Facebook. You can also visit their website (elementshrub.com), and if you’d like to send Charlie an email, hit him up at charlie@elementshrub.com.


What is a shrub?

According to Charlie, it’s a colonial way of preserving fruit using vinegar (and sugar). The nice thing about shrubs is that they provide two taste components found in many cocktails: sweetness and sourness (or acidity). Not only that, but they also yield the flavor of the fruits and spices found in the shrub.

Element [Shrub] Flavors

Lightning Round Questions

What is Your Favorite Cocktail?

The Corpse Reviver #2

What is your Favorite Spirit?

Gin, even though I used to stay away from it. I like it because it’s sort of an open book.

Books We Discuss in this Episode

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out as a home bartender?

Don’t be afraid of shrubs. People are scared of adding vinegar to their cocktails because they’re afraid it’s going to taste like salad dressing. But if you back up and think about what a shrub is, you realize that it’s just sweet and tangy, and those are two taste elements you’re going to be adding to most cocktails anyway. So don’t be afraid of Shrubs, and don’t be afraid to experiment.