Cocktails/ Recipe/ Summer

#MargaritaWeek: Fizzy Lime & Blackberry Shrub Margarita

My friend, I think we should talk about something that nobody wants to talk about: Getting stung in the hoo-haa (vagina type area for those of you who don’t like calling lady bits by cutesy names) by a swarm of angry bees.

#DrinkTheSummer | Lime Blackberry Shrub Drinking Vinegar | Summer Cocktail - She Eats

Nay, a swarm of mean, pissed off, crazy like Gnarls Barkley wasps.

Does anything else scream Summer more than that? You know, other than the screams that erupted from the deepest recesses of me? Both literally and figuratively.

#DrinkTheSummer | Lime Blackberry Shrub Drinking Vinegar | Summer Cocktail - She Eats

So, a close girlfriend and I were walking her pups all nice and Summer like along a trail on Vancouver Island just outside Victoria. Now, if you’ve ever been to Thetis Lake you’ll know 2 things:

1. Much like most houses (and lady parts), there’s a front door and a back door. The front end of the lake is a bustling, crowded sandy beach that’s immediately adjacent to the car park making it very accessible and easily overrun by families and giant sun umbrellas.

The back entrance though is far less busy. You drive around the far end of the lake, stash your vehicle among the blackberry bushes and hike in with your dogs off-leash, cold refreshing beers in tow. You find a rock nestled half in the sun, half in the water, making it relatively safe to slip in for a dip as the sun sets for the evening, elongating the shadows of the trees, coaxing them to dance on the picturesque lake that lays before you.

Clearly I’m a back door kinda gal.

2. There are naked people frolicking through the woods and thick underbrush of the park. But that’s a different story.

#DrinkTheSummer | Lime Blackberry Shrub Drinking Vinegar | Summer Cocktail - She Eats

This one time before we found our rock however, we took the dogs for a good jaunt through the trails at the far end of the lake. Half way (3 beers) through our escapade, I had to pee.

There are no outhouses at the back end of Thetis lake.

So, like a couple of good wilderness girls would, I darted into the trees whilst my friend stood watch to make sure no one would inadvertently see a little (ahem, yeah right) white bum poking out from behind the brush while I did my biznass. Hey – after 3 beers, a girl’s gotta go. 

Like that was the worst thing that could possibly happen.

#DrinkTheSummer | Lime Blackberry Shrub Drinking Vinegar | Summer Cocktail - She Eats

Now, I know all about not wiping your bits with poison ivy and being mindful when foraging for edibles in the forest and that you can’t actually establish a “pee perimeter” camping (it actually attracts wildlife to your campsite). What I failed to consider was that peeing on wasps = bad. 

So there I was, all hunkered down in classic nature-pee-squat position, mindful to avoid my shoes and not fall over mid-stream, and I went.

Half way through, an incessant buzzing began. Evidently a fairly aggressive wasp needed to pee too and I figured this must be a very popular tree.

Then another.

Then a third.

Suddenly it occurred to me that maybe they didn’t so much need to pee as they’d rather I didn’t.

#DrinkTheSummer | Lime Blackberry Shrub Drinking Vinegar | Summer Cocktail - She Eats

All of a sudden there were dozens of them. Hundreds. Thousands! And I was full moon deep in the back of the woods. With their nest directly behind/under/around my exposed, ahem, “stuff”.

I jumped. I screamed. I swatted. I swore. I ran.

#DrinkTheSummer | Lime Blackberry Shrub Drinking Vinegar | Summer Cocktail - She Eats

As I bolted out of the bush, pants barely around my hips, arms flailing all over the place, my friend assumed I was merely having a spaz attack (as I’ve been known to do from time to time). But I could feel them. Stuck in my now drawn-up pants, crawling through my hair, buzzing around my ankles. Gingerly – and a bit too casually if you ask me – she picked up a stick and proceeded to comb through my locks. And then she saw them. And they were upon us.

We both started shrieking and running as quick as we could, the dogs unsure if they should be defending us against the attack or leaving us in their dust. Four legs carry a body much faster than two.

#DrinkTheSummer | Lime Blackberry Shrub Drinking Vinegar | Summer Cocktail - She Eats

Eventually we got away. And no one died from anaphylactic shock. But there were bites and stings. All over me. All over her. All over the dogs. And probably all over that poor, unassuming tree.

A swim (and another couple of beers) were in order. So we piled onto a rock and very quickly submerged ourselves in the cooling water of the lake. And hoped we didn’t drop unconscious mid-stroke.

…And that’s how I got a nest full of angry wasps all up in my junk.

It should be noted that I don’t typically make urinating in public a regular thing, nor do I dislike wasps (though they are far less cute and helpful than their Hymenopteric cousin, the honey bee) – just that there is a lesson to be learned.

And that is, don’t pee on a wasp nest.

#DrinkTheSummer | Lime Blackberry Shrub Drinking Vinegar | Summer Cocktail - She Eats

But do experience Summer. Go ahead and pee in the woods if it feels right to you. Frolic naked if you dare. But whatever you do, definitely have a few fizzy lime & blackberry shrubs.

Let me tell you, my friend. I have finally done it. For realz. I have perfected the blackberry. As if blackberries weren’t already pretty damn perfect in their own right. But hell, add some tequila, fresh basil or mint and top it off with a few ounces of sparkling water and you have a complete – and utterly delicious – toast to Summer.

#DrinkTheSummer | Lime Blackberry Shrub Drinking Vinegar | Summer Cocktail - She Eats

Before we get to the recipe, I’m giving a huge tequila induced shout out to Kate Ramos at ¡Hola Jalapeño! for organizing all us crazy margarita-infused food minds to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and #MargaritaWeek… And for giving me a reason to drink more tequila.

Be sure to check out past #MargaritaWeek creations by visiting Kate’s site. If you like margaritas (and clearly you do, which is why we’re such close bffs), you’ll like her stuff. Then you’ll drink tequila. And then do a fairly unbalanced jig about it in the streets. Because yum. Or in my case, through the forest.

Seasonal liquid nourishment AND uncoordinated flailing in public? Count me in. Now let’s count you in too.

#DrinkTheSummer | Lime Blackberry Shrub Drinking Vinegar | Summer Cocktail - She Eats

Consuming this Fizzy Lime & Blackberry Shrub truly is drinking the Summer. Whether you forage your blackberries from the lake, steal (ahem, borrow and repay in pitchers of this luscious and refreshing drink) from your next door neighbour, or buy them in bulk from the farmer’s market, this cocktail will make. your. Summer.

Cheers my friend – to the Summer, to good company and safe lady parts.

Blackberry Lime Shrub Margarita

Yield 1 drink


For the Shrub:

  • 2 C fresh blackberries
  • Juice and zest of 5 limes
  • 1 1/4 C organic cane sugar
  • 1 1/4 C apple cider vinegar

For the Drink (Margarita):

  • 1 Shot of shrub mixture
  • 2 Shots of good quality silver tequila (I like Patrón)
  • 1 C soda water
  • Ice
  • To garnish - fresh basil, blackberries and lime


To Make the Shrub:

  1. Chuck the blackberries, lime juice and zest and sugar into a bowl. Crush the lot all together so everything gets nice and sloppy looking. Cover and place in the fridge for 2 days to macerate.
  2. Remove from the fridge and give it a good stir. Using a fine sieve, strain the liquid from the crushed berries. Get as much of it as you can. Feel free to use a spoon to help crush the juice free but don't force solids through the strainer.
  3. Pour the juice into a mason jar and top with apple cider vinegar. Cover and shake well. Place in the fridge for 7 days to allow the flavours to develop.

To Make the Cocktail:

  1. Pour shrub mixture and tequila into a glass. Add as much ice as will fit in there comfortably. Top with soda and garnish with a sprig of basil and a toothpick loaded up with a blackberry and slice of lime.
  2. Drink.


Don't just throw away the blackberry solids. Use them as a topping for oatmeal or pancakes! Uh, yum.

  • Jacqueline Gum
    August 19, 2015 at 5:25 AM

    Yikes girl! I hope you are healing…and the dogs are healing..but what a gawd awful experience. Might put one off nature for good! But just so you now that you are NOT alone, I had a similar experience years ago in a gas station bathroom! Yes indeed…infested with bees, but I already had my pantyhose around my ankles and had to go so badly that I couldn’t stop the stream. I recovered, obviously, but it remains one helluva memory! I love blackberries too! And that drink looks so perfect, I’m going to have to make one for em:)
    Jacqueline Gum recently published…Revenge… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  • Meg @ Beard and Bonnet
    August 19, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    Oh my goodness!!! That sounds like my worst nightmare. Stinging things are not my friend. However, this drink I could get used too…Pinning!
    Meg @ Beard and Bonnet recently published…Pineapple and Cilantro Moscow MuleMy Profile

  • betty
    August 19, 2015 at 8:29 AM

    OMG. That’s crazy – I’m so sorry you had to go through that!!! Bees are bad but WASPS? Thank goodness nobody went into anaphylactic shock. Wishing you and your pups well and sending positive thoughts your way. You have my complete sympathy!!!

    On another note, I’ve been on a huge fermentation kick (I made kombucha cocktails!) and I’ve been dying to try shrubs. This gives me an excuse :). Thanks for sharing!
    betty recently published…Peach Yogurt Soju + Ginger Plum Kombucha CocktailMy Profile

  • Justine
    August 19, 2015 at 1:29 PM

    I was on the edge of my seat reading about your horrific lady-part experience! Haha. I hope you’re okay! The same thing happened to me once, but with mosquitoes in the mountains (which at the time I thought was horrible, but apparently it can get worse!).

    These look delish, I’m going to have to try them out — blackberries are so good right now. And your photos are beyond gorgeous. I’ve got a tequila cocktail recipe coming this weekend (well, it’s a friends recipe, actually) — she made us homemade margaritas with freshly pressed juice last week, and it was a really interesting combo of ingredients I would have never thought to put together. 🙂 I’m actually starting to get into good tequila cocktails. If you’re ever in Calgary, you have to try the margaritas at Añejo. Any of them. They’re seriously to die for!

    Looks like I’m going to be stopping by your cocktail section frequently! Cheers.

    • Kristy Gardner
      September 1, 2015 at 2:25 PM

      haha – at least I can tell a story Justine! Mosquitos are terrifying. They carry all kinds of nasty things like West Nyle (nile?) Either way, I don’t want it.

      PS. Off to check out your tequila cocktail now – love me a good tequila cocktail. Or any cocktail. Or any tequila 😉

      PS. I’m from Calgary originally (well, Strathmore)! Next time I go to Alberta I’ll definitely try Anejo. Thanks for the recommendation!
      Kristy Gardner recently published…Crunchy Dill Pickleville: The Canning Kitchen Cookbook GiveawayMy Profile

  • Becky
    August 19, 2015 at 2:08 PM

    YIKES! I’ve had some run-ins with yellow jackets and poison ivy in the garden this year, but nothing that awful thankfully.

    Almost none of the blackberries I’ve gotten this year have made it home, let alone gotten made into anything. The mini-me adores blackberries and scarfs them down as quickly as she can get her little mitts on them.
    Becky recently published…Wanderings, with peaches.My Profile

  • lindsey
    August 19, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    Dude. Uncool. I’m so sorry about the bees! I have never been stung but keep a healthy respectful distance from all stinging animals, just to be sure.
    I will be making this drink b/c I have an obscene amount of blackberries and there’s only so much jam and cobbler a body can handle before going kaput.
    Be well!

  • Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek
    August 19, 2015 at 5:27 PM

    These look yummy and absolutely beautiful! Also bees suck so much. Sorry lovey! But #drinkthesummer is here to make your day better 🙂
    Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek recently published…Sugar Plum MargaritaMy Profile

  • Em
    August 19, 2015 at 8:14 PM

    My hoohah just tensed up like whoa thinking of a nest of wasps all up in it — and that’s saying something since it passed a baby 3 months ago. Unrelated, this shrub sounds amazing. Blackberries are where it’s at. Cheers to summah!

  • Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist
    August 20, 2015 at 5:52 AM

    Let me first pick up my jaw before commenting. HOLY #$%^ I would have freaked! The way you told this story was so captivating and hilarious! Don’t take my laughing out loud the wrong way…I really felt for you, your friends, and your dogs and all your stings, but you wrote about in such a charming, spit-up my coffee kind of way that I couldn’t help it. I am so happy I found your blog though the #drinkthesummer event. I saw your comment on Molly’s sight and I replied to it because, like you, I don’t drink anything other than water and alcohol. Go water! and alcohol…
    Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist recently published…Whole Grain Homemade Pita Bread (16 of them!)My Profile

  • Cindy
    August 20, 2015 at 8:07 AM

    Ohmigosh! That sounds like a nature nightmare. It dos make for a great story, though. This drink is lovely!
    Cindy recently published…Lime Rosé SpritzerMy Profile

  • Sherrie
    August 20, 2015 at 9:19 PM

    Shrubs are having such a moment right now, and this looks/sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for hanging with us yesterday Kristy, xx!

  • Lynn | The Road to Honey
    August 21, 2015 at 3:14 AM

    Oh No! Note to self. . .always look before you pee. . .got it!.

    I hope your lady bits have made a full recovery. I suppose a couple more of those beers would help ease the pain. Or better yet. . .how about a couple of these lime and blackberry shrubs (with a few extra shots of tequila. . .hey. . .it’s for the wasps)? This cocktail looks absolutely scrumptious and I would love to have one for each hand. . .a girl can dream.
    Lynn | The Road to Honey recently published…Roasted Vegetable Tart with Parmesan CrustMy Profile

  • Rachel
    August 21, 2015 at 4:14 AM

    Okay, this story is just cray. Worse nightmare for sure! Were you living in an oatmeal bath after that? Wasp stings aside — this drink! Yes! Blackberry and lime is such a great combo and I can down with some tequila. Love it!

  • Julia (@Imagelicious)
    August 21, 2015 at 8:53 AM

    Oh, what an ordeal! I can’t imagine how much it hurt, but at least you got a wonderful post out of it and a funny story.
    Julia (@Imagelicious) recently published…Trout with Lime-Dill CrustMy Profile

  • Olivia @ livforcake
    August 21, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    Omg!! That’s a horror story right there. Nightmare. There would definitely be tears on my part from the shock/trauma of it all. Definitely makes for a great story. This drink looks and sounds delicious!
    Olivia @ livforcake recently published…Funfetti Bundt Cake #BundtBakersMy Profile

  • Wanda
    August 21, 2015 at 9:11 AM

    Growing up we never camped in normal campgrounds…always off some beaten path by the river so my dad could fish. Mmmm salmon. Ever since “cop a squat” has been part of my vocabulary and you do what you gotta do when ya gotta do it! And yes I am trying to teach my own girl how to cop a squat without finding a wasps nest. Ouch! Delicious recipe!
    Wanda recently published…Reeses Peanut Butter Chocolate Nanaimo BarsMy Profile

  • Mel
    August 21, 2015 at 9:29 AM

    Oh my… Your poor lady parts!!! What an amazingly hilarious story..although not for you at the time. It’s made even more funny as I live in Victoria and frequent Thetis Lake often. I could even have been there walking my dog on that day….boy I’m glad I didn’t stumble upon you, your bare bum and your motley crew of wasps!!!
    Your recipe looks amazing by the way! I will definitely be enjoying 1 (or 3) of those this weekend!!!
    Mel recently published…Buddha Bowl With Roasted Garlic SauceMy Profile

  • Homemade & Yummy
    August 21, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    OMG…OMG…OMG…I don’t know what else to say!!! OMG!!! I don’t even know what I would do….SCREAM SCREAM SCREAM!!!
    Homemade & Yummy recently published…Simple Grilled VeggiesMy Profile

  • Lily | Kale & Caramel
    August 21, 2015 at 3:54 PM

    OMG INSANE. I cannot even imagine the horror. You are an angel of incredible strength to have survived, hoohah intact. Infinite shrubs deserved. These look delish!

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets
    August 22, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    Holy hell. I would have lost my shit over that. Thank god I just read this post because I just peed in the woods last weekend. I was a beer and a half in, I know you understand. Thankfully nothing got stung, although I did drive my car over the little parking divider and that was before the beer started. I had to gun it in reverse to get back over it too. People saw; it was embarrassing which led to the beer (let’s pretend) and then to the peeing in public.

    I need a drink after this post. Preferably the one in the post. Wow. It’s gorgeous, although my lady parts are aching for you, not like that either. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    August 25, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    I’ve been stung by a wasp before – but it was just one wasp sting, and it definitely wasn’t in an area as sensitive as my lady parts. Ouch! I’m quite glad that you were 3 beers in by that point, and had more alcohol to carry you through. I would like to drink several of these lime blackberry shrubs, please and thank you. Preferably while laying on a rock in the sun and dipping my toes in the water. That sounds just lovely.
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe recently published…My Favourite Green SmoothieMy Profile

  • Mars
    August 25, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    Oh my goodness gracious, your poor bits! I’ve never been stung before so I’m abnormally terrified of ’em. I’m sure it was a heck of a whole lot more painful than you described, but I love your sense of humor about it. What a story! Thank you for sharing it with us :] What a great introduction to this here blog o’ yours; I’m an instant fan! I’ll be sure to share some love on my own site’s social media sometime 😀

    Nice Virtually Meeting You,
    Drinker’s Guide to the Valley

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