Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Mother Shrub

Meredyth Archer grew up in West Virginia on a steady regimen of drinking vinegars, which her grandmother considered a holistic cure-all for everything. But it turns out that the practice had even deeper roots. As an adult, Meredyth came across a recipe for raspberry vinegar in a family cookbook dating back to the 1800’s, and felt inspired to make her very first batch.  

Especially popular during America’s Colonial era, the non-alcoholic combo of fermented fruit, vinegar and sugar is derived from the Arabic word sharab—meaning beverage. And it’s served multiple purposes throughout the world for centuries…to preserve fruit, make water safe to drink, prevent scurvy amongst sailors, and treat all manner of diseases. Not to mention serve as an incredible mixer for cocktails. Those 15th century Brits really knew how to party! 

Meredyth definitely appreciated those latter two purposes. Not only did she distinctly remember sipping the drink as a kid in order to soothe a sore throat, she’d gained a whole new respect for drinking vinegars as an amateur at-home mixologist—and was excited to observe them starting to gain traction in the craft cocktail movement.  

As a professional consultant for creative entrepreneurs, Meredyth realized it was high time to take her own advice. Drawing on the artistic energy and talents of those around her (her husband is a painter who designed the beverage’s label), not to mention that trusty 1800s-era cookbook, she officially launched Mother Shrub in 2015. 

And the drinking vinegar company with familial roots found sweet success in its first year on the market, winning the Best New Product Award at the Virginia Food & Beverage Expo. When it comes to handcrafted libations designed to stand the test of time, grandmother definitely knows best.