Functional beverages (aka better-for-you sodas loaded with health-boosting ingredients) have been hitting the market with claims of helping you focus, boosting your immunity, and fixing your gut.

One of those functional beverages is Shrubbly, a Vermont-based shrub soda brand that wants to turn your everyday soda into a daily shot of wellness.

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

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

Today, they’re still commonly used in cocktails as mixers — but they’re gaining popularity in nonalcoholic bevvies, too.

FYI: Shrub soda is shrub mixed with sparkling water. (Get it? Shrub + bubbly = Shrubbly).

Shrubbly makes small-batch prebiotic shrub soda with certified organic fruit, 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 bubblies are low calorie, low (or no) sugar, low carb, non-GMO, organic, and keto-friendly. So… how do they taste? Let’s crack open a few cans and find out.

Aronia Berry & Pomegranate

We love the deep warm red color of this one. It looks very pretty in a glass — it would def make a beautiful cocktail or mocktail mixer.

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

The flavor is light, crisp, dry, and slightly tart with earthy hints of cardamom. It’s sweetened just slightly with honey to balance the acidity of the ACV. We enjoyed the whole can and would genuinely purchase this flavor to drink without mixing it with anything at all.

One thing to note: There are a few bits of sediment when you reach the bottom of the can. This kind of sediment is NBD — especially if you’re used to taking ACV shots — but it might be offputting to some peeps.

Lemon Ginger & Aronia Berry

Our first impression of this one is that it’s not as sweet as the pomegranate flavor (and that one was only slightly sweet). We got a kick of tart lemon and essence of ginger right away.

It has a lighter red color than the 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’re more into something a little sweet, you’d probably prefer the pomegranate flavor.

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

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

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

But are they good for you? Let’s take a look at the main ingredients:

  • Aronia berry is an antioxidant, which can help reduce your risk of chronic disease and help strengthen your immune system.
  • Apple cider vinegar is known for having a bunch of health benefits (some supported by evidence, others not). The biggest (science-backed) ones are that it promotes stable blood sugar, helps people lose weight, and improves heart health. It *might* also be good for your gut because it’s fermented. But it’s hard to know if probiotics from the fermentation process make their way into the final product of sodas like Shrubbly.

So yes, Shrubbly is pretty good for you, but it’s not going to be a game-changing addition to your diet.

Shrubbly (aka shrub soda) is a healthier alternative to regular soda with some potential health benefits. The flavors are pretty dang tasty, too.

If you’re looking for a functional beverage and enjoy the taste of ACV or kombucha, we def recommend giving Shrubbly a try. Just don’t expect it to be totally life-changing for your health.