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Christmas Shrub -A Rum Spice Liqueur

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“I've had this recipe for years and it comes from "The Caribbean Pantry Cookbook" by Steven Raichlen. It is best if made and stored a few weeks to a month, but can be drank right away. But be patient and let it age. My husband calls it 'nectar of the Gods'. It takes a little time to prep but worth it I assure you. Do not substitute ground spices, it will not turn out the same at all.”
2 gallons

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash the fruits and remove the zest in strips, avoiding the white pith.
  2. Combine the zests, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, vanilla beans, 2 cups of sugar, and 2 cups of water in a large heavy saucepan.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to lowest possible setting. Let the ingredients infuse for 30 minutes.
  4. Strain the syrup into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Combine the remaining 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in the same large saucepan.
  6. Cover the pan and bring mixture to a boil. Uncover the pan and cook the mixture over high heat until it turns golden brown or caramelizes -about 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool 5 minutes.
  8. Add 1 cup of rum to the caramel. BE CAREFUL -the mixture may splatter. When the splatter has subsided, return the pan to low heat stirring with a wooden spoon until the caramel has dissolved into the rum.
  9. Add the caramel mixture and remaining rum to the syrup. (I found a large jar like you see in deli's for pickles I use for this). Whisk or in my case, shake the mixture. Pour into clean bottles or containers. Place in a cool dark place and allow to age. It will keep indefinitely.
  10. I put this is pretty decorative bottles like you see for salad dressing and give as Christmas gifts. I had an uproar the one year I didn't make it.
  11. Servings and yield are approximate, but about 2 gallons I'd guess. This is something you drink like a cordial or as a sipper. It is very strong!

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