Southern Islander Shrub Cocktail

Southern Islander Shrub cocktail with barbecue sauce // Feast + West

One of the most delightful things in life is finding a friend who shares a hobby with you. For me, it’s rare to find a friend who shares my love for mixology. In other words, a friend who loves making the drinks as much as drinking them. For me, it’s so much fun to try another’s cocktail concoction. It’s very curious to me to see what other people will make with similar ingredients.

When I learned that my new pals Amanda and Paul of The Great NC BBQ Map share my love of cocktails as well as our already established love for barbecue, I asked them to design something special for Feast + West. They combined both of our common interests and pulled together this Southern Islander Shrub, a unique cocktail combining bourbon, pineapple juice, honey syrup and a North Carolina vinegar-based barbecue sauce.

Yes, you read that correctly. Barbecue sauce. In a cocktail.

Southern Islander Shrub cocktail with barbecue sauce // Feast + West

Shrubs are cocktails with a tangy mixture of vinegar, sugar and fruits added to the alcohol. The Southern Islander Shrub also has a honeyed rim with hickory smoked sea salt for added sweetness and spice. This cocktail puts a tropical spin on North Carolina favorites, and it would be delicious year-round. (Local readers could even use all-North Carolina ingredients like whiskey from Troy & Sons and farmers market honey.)

Many thanks to Amanda and Paul of The Great NC BBQ Map for sharing this unique recipe. If you haven’t checked out their amazing map of North Carolina barbecue eateries, you absolutely must. // susannah

Click below for the Southern Islander Shrub recipe! 

Southern Islander Shrub cocktail with barbecue sauce // Feast + West

Southern Islander Shrub cocktail with barbecue sauce // Feast + West

Southern Islander Shrub

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

The combination of honey and pineapple juice, along with the vinegar of the barbecue sauce emulates the effect of a shrub, which is made with sugar, vinegar, and fruit.


Honey Syrup

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water


  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon/whiskey
  • 1/4 ounces (1 teaspoon) pineapple juice
  • 1/2 ounces (1 tablespoon) honey syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar-based, North Carolina-style barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey, for rim
  • 1 teaspoon Hickory smoked sea salt, for rim


  1. Make honey syrup. Dissolve honey in water in small saucepan over medium high heat. Let cool.
  2. Combine bourbon, pineapple juice, honey syrup and barbecue sauce in mixing glass. Stir.
  3. Prepare old-fashioned glass with honey and hickory smoked sea salt. Drizzle a little honey onto one half of a plate, and sprinkle sea salt on the other half. Rotate top of glass to coat rim in honey, then salt. Let honey drip down side of glass for effect.
  4. Add large cube of ice to glass, then pour cocktail mixture over top of ice.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 cocktail, easily multiplied
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 303Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2526mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 0gSugar: 37gProtein: 0g

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Southern Islander Shrub cocktail with barbecue sauce // Feast + West

(Photos // The Great NC BBQ Map)

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