What is it and health benefits

Functional drinks (aka healthier sodas loaded with health-boosting ingredients) have hit the market claiming to help you focus, boost your immunity, and repair your gut. .

One such functional drink is Shrubbly, a Vermont-based brand of shrub soda that wants to turn your daily soda into a daily dose of wellness.

When we talk about shrubs, we’re not referring to the well-groomed bushes you see planted virtually everywhere. We are talking about a mixture of fruits (in this case, the aronia berry) and vinegar.

According to Shrubbly, shrubs were traditionally a way to store fruit before fridges (and waaay before TikTok fridge restocking videos) were a thing. They were also commonly used as mixers in colonial cocktails.

Today they are still commonly used in cocktails as mixers, but they are also gaining popularity in non-alcoholic bevvies.

for your information: Shrub soda is a shrub mixed with sparkling water. (Get it? Shrub + bubbly = Shrub).

Shrubbly makes prebiotic shrub soda in small batches with certified organic fruits, herbs, spices, and apple cider vinegar (ACV). It’s the kind of stuff you find in wellness shots…but make it a soda.

These Shrubbly Bubbles are low calorie, low (or no) sugar, low carb, non-GMO, organic, and keto friendly. So… how do they taste? Let’s open a few cans and find out.

Aronia Bay & Grenada

We love the warm, deep red color of this one. It looks very pretty in a glass – it would undoubtedly make a lovely cocktail or non-alcoholic mixer.

When we first opened it, you could immediately smell the ACV, but only very slightly. It has a good amount of carbonation without being too fizzy (think: not as fizzy as a Coca-Cola).

The flavor is light, crisp, dry and slightly tart with earthy notes of cardamom. It is lightly sweetened with honey to balance the acidity of the apple cider vinegar. We enjoyed the whole can and would definitely buy this flavor to drink without mixing it with anything.

One thing to note: there are a few bits of sediment when you reach the bottom of the box. This type of sediment is NBD – especially if you’re used to taking pictures of apple cider vinegar – but it can be off-putting to some.

Lemon Ginger & Aronia Berry

Our first impression of this one is that it’s not as sweet as the pomegranate flavor (and this one was only slightly sweet). We immediately had a hit of tangy lemon and ginger essence.

It has a lighter red color than pomegranate flavor, is slightly bitter, and is probably an acquired taste for some. If you like ginger and the tartness of unsweetened lemons, then you’ll love it. But if you prefer something a little sweet, you’ll probably prefer the pomegranate flavor.

The ingredient lists for Shrubbly’s two sodas are short — both flavors contain organic aronia berry juice and organic apple cider vinegar.

Pomegranate flavor also contains organic honey for sweetener, organic pomegranate juice concentrate and organic cardamom. Lemon ginger flavor has organic lemon juice and organic ginger juice.

Compared to regular brands of soda — which often contain high fructose corn syrup and other not-so-good-for-you ingredients — Shrubbly is definitely a healthier choice.

But are they Well for you? Let’s see the main ingredients:

  • Aronia berry is an antioxidant that may help reduce your risk of chronic disease and boost your immune system.
  • apple cider vinegar is known to have a bunch of health benefits (some backed by evidence, some not). The most important (backed by science) are that it promotes stable blood sugar levels, helps people lose weight, and improves heart health. It *could* also be good for your gut because it’s fermented. But it’s unclear whether the probiotics from the fermentation process end up in the end product of sodas like Shrubbly.

So yes, Shrubbly is pretty good for you, but it won’t be a game changer for your diet.

Shrubbly (aka tree soda) is a healthier alternative to regular soda with some potential health benefits. The flavors are also very tasty.

If you are looking for a functional drink and enjoy the taste of apple cider vinegar or kombucha, we recommend trying Shrubbly. Don’t expect this to totally change your life for your health.

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