How to Make a Low-FODMAP Shrub with Sonoma Syrup Co.

Have you ever been to Sonoma?  I haven’t.  I’ve only had the pleasure of visiting Napa, to go tasting at a few wineries, enjoy delicious food and say “yes!” to my husband when he proposed.  So Napa has a special place in my heart but I’ve heard I may like Sonoma even more.  My sommelier friends have told me that the soul of Sonoma is much different than Napa.  David Bolling for Great American Country writes: “Sonoma really is unique. There’s no place in California, nor the entire country, that combines beauty, history, wine and real estate into a genuine community.”  One of these days I will visit Sonoma, but in the meantime, I’ve got Sonoma Syrup Co. on my mind.

Sonoma Syrup Co. was founded in 2002 by Karin Campion.  A lifelong resident of California, Karin created her company to “capture and share the quintessential flavors of Sonoma.” Her Infused Simple Syrups were first made using her own kitchen garden.  Drawing upon her experience with botanicals, cooking, design and her family life is how she develops  a wide variety of foods for different clients.

There are a few products available from Sonoma Syrup like American Artisan Infused Simple Syrups, as well as Extract Blends, Bar Mixers, and Apple Cider Infused Drinking Vinegar.  The possibilities for recipes using all of these products seems endless!  You can check out all of their products online or buy them through these retailers.  Today I will share recipes using some of the syrups and delicious apple cider infused drinking vinegar (up to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar is low in FODMAPs according to Monash University – and that’s good news because some people believe it may help soothe their gut).

Before I share my first recipe using Sonoma Syrup Co.’s products, have you ever heard of a shrub?  I learned how to make one by checking out Michael Dietsch’s recipe for a Cold-Processed Shrub on Serious Eats.  He describes a shrub as “an acidulated beverage made of fruit juice, sugar, and other ingredients…prior to the invention of refrigeration, a shrub syrup was a means of preserving fruit long past its picking. Shrubs were popular in Colonial America, mixed with cool water to provide a pick-me-up on hot summer days.”

Michael also points out that acid varies by different shrub recipes, and that some recipes call for either fruit juice or vinegar and some shrub recipes are prepared using alcohol that steeps with the fruit, acid, and sugar.

Starting the process of making a shrub featuring Sonoma Syrup Co. Apple Cider Infused Drinking Vinegar. A few Infused Simple Syrups sit patiently in the background
Starting the process of making a shrub featuring Sonoma Syrup Co. Apple Cider Infused Drinking Vinegar. A few Infused Simple Syrups sit patiently in the background

Shrub Uses

I made a shrub using Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Apple Cider Infused Drinking Vinegar and absolutely loved the outcome.  If you’re wondering what you can do after you’ve made your shrub, I have a few ideas for you:

  • Use your shrub as an apéritif or as an alternative to bitters in a low-FODMAP cocktail
  • Use one part Cold-Pressed Strawberry Raspberry Shrub (recipe below) and add to four parts of a low-FODMAP serving of alcohol such as champagne or sparkling wine
  • Add a ½ oz of shrub and about ½ oz still water to a glass of your favorite red table wine (courtesy of
  • Add one part shrub of choice to four parts water in a microwaveable mug with a slice of lemon.  Microwave until hot and then add and a slice of fresh ginger.
  • Use one part shrub to four parts water or soda water (soda water is carbonated and can sometimes trigger gas or bloating -test your individual tolerance)
  • Use one part blueberry shrub to four parts water or soda water, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Mint Infused Simple Syrup plus 3-4 torn mint leaves

“We strive to be as authentic and genuine as our fresh all-natural flavors and use only ingredients made by nature.”  Sonoma Syrup Co. 


Cold-Pressed Strawberry Raspberry Shrub

Makes about 20 to 24 ounces of shrub syrup, enough to make anywhere from 10 to 20 drinks, depending on how much syrup is used per drink.  Use remaining fruit to put back into your cocktail or mocktail, or add to lactose-free vanilla ice cream.

*This recipe was adapted from Michael Dietsch’s recipe for Cold-Processed Shrub on Serious Eats



  1. Place berries or fruit in bowl. Cover with sugar and stir.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator until juice exudes from fruit and starts to combine with sugar to form syrup. This may take only 5 or 6 hours, or it may need a couple of days. A longer maceration won’t harm anything, so feel free to leave it in fridge longer than it might need.
  3. Strain syrup from fruit. Press lightly on solids to express any remaining juice/syrup. Scrape remaining sugar into syrup.
  4. Add vinegar and whisk to combine.
  5. Pour through funnel into clean bottle. Cap and shake vigorously, and mark date on bottle. Store in refrigerator.
  6. Check periodically. Some sugar may remain undissolved for up to a few days. Shake to combine. After about a week, acids in juice and vinegar should dissolve sugar entirely.

Store shrub for up to a year in the refrigerator. The acid and sugar will preserve the syrup.

sonoma syrup low fodmap shrub 2Sonoma Darling  (as shown in photo above) 

Enjoy this original Low-FODMAP cocktail recipe that’s perfect for warm weather or after a long day’s work.

  • 1 oz. Cold-Pressed Strawberry Raspberry Shrub
  • 1 oz. vodka (gluten-free vodka for celiac or gluten-sensitivity)
  • 1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Co. No. 10 White Ginger American Artisan Infused Simple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 6-7 ice cubes
  • Optional – top with 3-4 fresh berries or fruit leftover from shrub
  • Optional – garnish with candied ginger


  1. Combine shrub, vodka, syrup, and lemon juice.  Stir well until combined.
  2. Add in ice cubes and fruit and garnish with candied ginger.

Hope you enjoyed the recipes above, I look forward to seeing what you will do with Sonoma Syrup Co. products!  Check back for more of my recipes using Sonoma Syrup Co.’s Mint, Lavender and Meyer Lemon flavors.

Other facts you may appreciate about Sonoma Syrup Co.:

  • Sonoma Syrups are handcrafted in small batch kettles
  • Their bottles are made of recyclable and compostable materials
  • They source locally and organic as much as possible and are close to non-GMO verification
  • Their fruit is natural and picked from organic orchards, fresh botanicals from organic gardens and their sugar is pure cane

*With respect to the vodka used above or for any alcoholic drink -please remember alcohol is a gut irritant and the suggested serving is one serving for women and up to two for men.  Consider limiting alcohol when on the low-FODMAP diet so you can keep your gut calm and more accurately pinpoint your potential IBS triggers.  Also remember alcohol content can vary from one serving of one drink to another. 

My new book The Everything® Low-FODMAP Diet Cookbook is available for pre-order now! Get your copy from Amazon:, Barnes & Noble:, Indiebound: and Target: Publisher: F+W Media. Publish Date: May 6, 2016

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Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet?  Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.

Be good to yourself and your gut!BEC_6825

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant
Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme
*Though I was compensated for this review, all the thoughts and opinions are my own.  I do not publish reviews unless I full-heartedly love the products I’ve been given to test out.  If you’d like to send a product to me I will gladly take a look/taste-test to see if I like it and would be up to sharing it with my fans who have IBS and other FGIDs.

Why I Don’t Drink Coffee – Low-FODMAP Diet

The Low-FODMAP diet has cast a bright ray of light on the woes of many who suffer from a myriad of digestive disorders.  As you might have learned already, everyone’s digestive system is different when it comes to what types of foods or drinks that can be tolerated.  Not everyone following the low-FODMAP diet has the same reactions to foods.  High-Fructan foods might be the only cause of one person’s pain but high-lactose might the culprit for another.

After researching the low-FODMAP diet for almost two years and speaking with thousands of people, I have seen complaints across the board for what works and what does not work.  Even though coffee is allowed on the low-FODMAP diet, I’d like to focus today on why I don’t drink it.  If you or someone you know has IBS, gastritis, Crohn’s disease, colitis and ulcers, this post is for you.

No Coffee Low Fodmap DietNo Coffee For Me

Let it be known that you can have coffee on the low-FODMAP diet but just stay away from chicory-based coffee substitutes which are a source of HIGH fructans.

By giving up coffee, I have less OH MY GOD WHERE’S THE BATHROOM moments, and believe me I am much more at ease now and don’t have to worry about what hour I leave the house.  My body is also calmer and relaxed.  I don’t need coffee for energy (I once thought I NEEDED it to get by) and the first fluid to enter my body everyday is water – and a lot of it.  Believe me, I do miss my beloved Peet’s French Roast coffee or trying coffee in different countries.  The smell now is the only thing I miss the most!

Here are some things to know about coffee for those of us with digestive disorders:

  • Caffeine in coffee is just as bad for the body because it speeds up every system in the body, and it has a stimulating effect on the intestines and can increase diarrhea – like very rapidly – that’s all I have to say about that.
  • When you drink coffee first thing, you are actually throwing acid on acid.  Your stomach produces large amounts of hydrochloric acid (HCl) after you’ve drank coffee, which can lead to irritation of your stomach and lining.
  • “De-caffeinated coffee does away with the caffeine, but it still contains acids that can increase stomach acid production.” Amber J. Tresca, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Expert.
  • “In 2007, Consumer Reports tested 36 cups of decaffeinated coffee from six coffee standbys, including Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. Compared to the caffeine found in a regular cup (generally around 100 milligrams), the decaf samples had less, but some packed in over 20.” 12 Surprising Sources of Caffeine,
  • Coffee can cause heartburn -who likes that?
  • “Coffee produces a laxative effect in susceptible people through stimulation of rectosigmoid motor activity, as soon as four minutes after drinking. Even modest doses of coffee can have this effect, whether or not the body is ready to dispose of the
    feces, resulting in loose stools. Studies show that decaffeinated coffee has a similar stimulant effect on the GI tract proving that the laxative effect is not only due to caffeine.” Effects of Caffeine and Coffee on Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, & Colitis Reviewed by Meri Rafetto, RD, Theresa Grumet, RD, and Gerri French, RD, MS, CDE.
  • If you have a damaged GI tract, the acid in coffee can prevent healing, and, regular or decaffeinated makes no difference!
  • Caffeine has a diuretic affect, which often dehydrates the body.  You know how your always told to get enough water?  You need it especially if you drink coffee.  Dehydrating the body can mean hard stools that are difficult to pass…and who wants to be constipated?

Where else can you find caffeine?  In much-loved chocolate (stick to low-FODMAP recommendations), coffee-flavored ice cream or frozen yogurt (try a different flavored lactose-free ice cream or yogurt), energy drinks (these also tend to have high fructose), tea, and some medications like painkillers.

Please share your comments below and tell me what works for you.  Everyone is different and we all handle foods and drinks in various ways.  However, it never hurts to consider cutting out coffee for a while to see if there’s any difference in your symptoms. Life has been wonderful for me without coffee!

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Other Sources: International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.

The FODMAP Content of Coconut Water

As with any product that suddenly becomes popular, coconut water has received both positive and negative press.  For me, coconut water has been a great way to rehydrate after a workout, a healing massage or after hours in the sun.  I give it a big thumbs up, and for those following the Low Fodmap Diet, you CAN drink coconut water but you have to be wary of the serving size.


  • Coconut water has less sugar than fruit juices
  • It contains minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium
  • It contains easily digested carbohydrates (sugar and electrolytes)
  • It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink.


According to testing (May 2014) by the Translational Nutrition research group of Monash University, a standard serving size of 250 ml (8.45 fluid oz), is high in FODMAPs.  This serving size contains high amounts of the Polyol- sorbitol and moderate amounts of the Oligos-fructans.  It is recommended that you AVOID drinking this much.  A serving size with LOW FODMAPs is 100 ml (3.4 fluid oz) is recommended as it is low in oligosaccharides, excess fructose, polyols and lactose.

As you can see by the by the containers in the photo above, the serving sizes are too big.  There are smaller bottles/containers of coconut water available at your local supermarket, but just be sure to measure out 3.4 fluid oz. in order to avoid having any symptoms.  I like to add water with my coconut water to add a bit more hydration and trick myself into feeling I’m drinking more coconut water!


“It’s important to read the label for added sugars,” says Stacy Rothschild, MPH, RD, dietitian and founder of New Leaf Nutrition in Paramus, New Jersey. “Choose the unflavored, natural varieties; otherwise, you might be consuming all that added sugar that you would get from fruit juice or a soda.”

Barbara Mendez, RPh, MS, a NYC-based nutritionist and registered pharmacist says: “Fresh coconut water has not been pasteurized, therefore it contains enzymes that help to detoxify and repair the body,” she explains. Most of what you’ll find in stores is pasteurized or from concentrate. Healthy Or Hype? The Skinny On Coconut Water

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Other resources: WebMD // Huffington Post UK