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Vinegar in your drink?

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The Washinton Times reports that mixing drinks with vinegar is all the rage:

That unmistakable tang and bright acidity is what draws bartenders to vin aigre (sour wine). Historically, white and apple cider vinegars were boiled into syrups for shrub fruit cocktails or added straight up to drinks for their purported medicinal qualities. These days, bartenders are using the tangy acids' aged cousins, balsamic and sherry, to achieve a new level of depth and complexity in cocktails.

But first you've got to choose the vinegar to feature from among the dozens lining store shelves. Vinegar is made by oxidizing the ethanol in wine (sherry, champagne, red wine vinegars), fruit juices (apple cider, raspberry, citrus -- although these are altogether different from white vinegar flavored with fruits), grape must (balsamic), rice, beer and a host of other ingredients. Basically, if you can ferment it, you can turn it into vinegar.

Trend stories always make me suspicious, but maybe vinegary cocktails will soon be more common than mojitos.

Anyone tried vinegar as ingredient? Any success with drinks less baroque than those given in the article?

This three-year-old topic touches on the same subject.

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The Washinton Times reports that mixing drinks with vinegar is all the rage:
That unmistakable tang and bright acidity is what draws bartenders to vin aigre (sour wine). Historically, white and apple cider vinegars were boiled into syrups for shrub fruit cocktails or added straight up to drinks for their purported medicinal qualities. These days, bartenders are using the tangy acids' aged cousins, balsamic and sherry, to achieve a new level of depth and complexity in cocktails.

But first you've got to choose the vinegar to feature from among the dozens lining store shelves. Vinegar is made by oxidizing the ethanol in wine (sherry, champagne, red wine vinegars), fruit juices (apple cider, raspberry, citrus -- although these are altogether different from white vinegar flavored with fruits), grape must (balsamic), rice, beer and a host of other ingredients. Basically, if you can ferment it, you can turn it into vinegar.

Trend stories always make me suspicious, but maybe vinegary cocktails will soon be more common than mojitos.

Anyone tried vinegar as ingredient? Any success with drinks less baroque than those given in the article?

This three-year-old topic touches on the same subject.

Robert Heugel covered this topic last year over at his blog, Drink Dogma. The new Food & Wine Cocktail Book book actually features his recipe for a Sidecar twist called, The Wreck.

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Robert Heugel covered this topic last year over at his blog, Drink Dogma.  The new Food & Wine Cocktail Book book actually features his recipe for a Sidecar twist called, The Wreck.

Have you tried the drink? Is it any good?

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All the drinks that call for Worcestershire sauce are already using vinegar as an ingredient. I've often wondered about the result of substituting Worcestershire sauce where Angostura bitters is called for. Never had the nerve to try it, though.


Edited by brinza (log)

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All the drinks that call for Worcestershire sauce are already using vinegar as an ingredient.  I've often wondered about the result of substituting Worcestershire sauce where Angostura bitters is called for.  Never had the nerve to try it, though.

Shouldn't take that much nerve...if it sucks, there is always the sink...

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Using vinegar in drinks is not all that "new."

I have some drink recipes from the 18th century - for fruit "shrubs" that include vinegar, wine and various sprits, ranging from gin to brandy.

And then going back further, the Roman army routinely drank vinegar mixed with water because it was a way to avoid illness and they often cut wine with vinegar to extend their supplies.

I just found this site: Shrubs.

Also, a friend who spent several months in the area around Modena, a few years ago, told me that he was served "sweet" balsamic vinegar that was diluted with soda water (from a siphon). He said it was very refreshing. He particularly mentioned it to me because I am allergic to alcohol and he thought I might enjoy it. I tried it, using some fairly expensive stuff, and it was very good but not the thing for someone who needs to economize!


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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PDT had a shrub drink on a previous menu that used gin, Pernod, and concord grape vinegar.

I regularly mix with white balsamic and (more recently) with sugarcane vinegar. The latter seriously amps up the herbal "funk" in rhum agricole- or arrack-based drinks.

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I just put up this year's batch of Tequila Por Mi Amante, and when it's done I'd like to do some experiments with balsamic vinegar, since strawberries and balsamic are magical together.

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Fruit Vinegar Drinks discusses some vinegar drinks, both alcoholic and not, including the Tait Farm products.

How is your experimentation going? Any non-fruit (peels, spices, green herbs) vinegars involved?

A mild vinegar is definitely the way to go!

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Jamie Boudreau was serving some nice raspberry & blackberry shrub cocktails at Vessel in Seattle last fall. My favorite, which I'm proud to say bears my name :wub: (given my fondness for the ingredients), was the Clarke's Conundrum, made with the shrub, Rittenhouse rye and Pedro Ximenez. Good lord, those were nice.

Here's Jamie's writeup: Berry Shrub

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vineger is kind of cool but i always paired aged balsamic in my drinks with verjus...

and if the idea of either excites you saba from modena is quite impressive...(unfermented grape reduction) you can even make great and complex liqueurs from the vin cotto like the marasca cherry tasting gambrinus from the veneto...

supposedly the appalachian people were the kings of the vineger drinks and avante garde sugars and acids... they made their own saba from cooking down fresh pressed apple juice 40+ to 1... you concentrate all of the sugars and acids and retain quite alot of concentrated aroma... i think i just lined up a source for grapes to make enough saba for the restaurant for next year.

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Angel's Share in NYC had (or has) a cocktail built around Sherry Vinegar which was either very good (imo) or amazing (in my girlfriend's opinion).

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What about making something with sushi vinegar? It's light and sweet and doesn't have as strong of a vinegar flavor as the other ones mentioned in the article.

Hmmmm....I'll have to come up with something. I mean, I use it in my scrambled eggs, so I'm sure I can find a drink to pour it in.

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I had an interesting drink a couple of days ago, with bourbon and balsamic vinegar. It actually tasted nice and balanced, with a touch of smoke and umami. The only minus is that the balsamic vinegar and heavy dose (1/2 oz) of Angostura bitters tended to hide the nuances of the bourbon.

 

Inkwell (Ryan Haile via Gaz Regan) with Kings County distillery bourbon, white grapefruit juice, balsamic vinegar, Angostura bitters.

 

24950324755_46d6613848_b.jpg

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