Phillips of Bristol Shrub Cordial is an old English alcoholic cordial made to a secret recipe, a blend of juices, peels, spices and herbs that is traditionally mixed with Rum in a “Rum and Shrub”.
J R Phillips was once Bristol’s oldest wine merchant and was established in 1739. In 1804 the company took on a new accountant, James Rouquet Phillips, later to become a partner. In 1825, James George sold the firm, now known as JR Phillips, to his partner, who together with his sons, William and Augustus, built up a best- selling line of “Old English cordials”. Phillips of Bristol Old English Cordials were originally available in 7 different flavours: Pink cloves, Lovage, White Peppermint, Green Peppermint, Aniseed, Grenadine and Shrub. Today there are 6 as the Green Peppermint has since been discontinued.
A cordial is an alcoholic infusion of herbs or other plants and is often thought to have invigorating or stimulating properties. Like these, cordials tend to be bottled at a lower strength ABV compared to liqueurs. The Phillips of Bristol cordials are all made to secret recipes handed down to JR Phillips and have a long West Country heritage. Today these are mainly used in cocktails but they were originally produced as medication, and for the prevention of illness on long sea voyages, these included lime juice (for the prevention of scurvy), the celery-flavoured Lovage (for rheumatism) and Shrub, a potent mixture of juices and alcohol guaranteed to keep colds at bay. Shrub was originally used in Cornwall during the old days of rum smuggling to disguise the the bitter taste of sea water that might have got into the rum barrels during the perilous journey from ship to shore.
The Phillips of Bristol range comes in a square shaped, to emphasis the heritage of the medicine shaped bottle, and a new label focusing on the Clifton Suspension bridge, where it all began back in 1739. Please note that we are not the UK agents for Phillips of Bristol.
Rum and Shrub is also the name of a group of Shantymen (sea shanty singers) based in Cornwall.