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Orange shrub surrounded by a halved orange, cardamom pods, and other shrubs and infused sugars.

Orange Shrub with Cardamom and Thyme

This Orange Shrub with Cardamom and Thyme has a bright orange flavor with a cool refreshing zing.

Course Beverages
Keyword beverages, quick and easy, shrubs
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Author Megan Wells


  • 25 cardamom pods
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup orange pieces*
  • 1 bundle of thyme
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar


  1. Crush the cardamom pods with the flat edge of a knife. Pry them open and drop the seeds in a spice grinder along with the cardamom husks. Pulse until the seeds are a coarse powder and set aside.
  2. Add the sugar and the water together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Add the oranges, cardamom, and thyme and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the syrup has become the color of the fruit and the fruit has lost its vibrancy.
  4. Add the vinegar and bring the mixture back to a simmer (about 5 to 8 minutes).
  5. Strain using a fine-meshed sieve covered with one layer of cheesecloth.
  6. Pour into a jar and keep it in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

  • The pith from oranges can be very bitter. To prevent bitterness, use a paring knife to cut away all the pith. I like to cut the tops and bottoms off the oranges to create a flat surface on both ends and then use a small paring knife to remove the skin and any pith from the orange.