When enjoying a cocktail with some friends, we often want to know the ingredients first. Most of the time, we want to know what to expect, or how likely we are to be walking on our hands by the time we finish the glass!
However, if a friend was to answer your question with “Vinegar” what would your reaction be?
Personally, I love vinegar. I use it on most foods I have, from salads to chips. However, I’m also fully aware that vinegar has a bit of a specific place in the culinary world. To make some chips taste nicer? Yes, of course. To use it in an alcoholic drink, though? I’m bitter enough, thanks.
According to the experts though, the idea of using vinegar in a cocktail isn’t quite the eyebrow raiser I would have assumed. The key to doing this is in perception: instead of looking at vinegar as a condiment, think of it as … a less refreshing lemon juice.
While that may look like a typo, it’s not. It’s actually the perfect mix for a delightful non-alcoholic beverage. Two parts fruit, two parts vinegar and two parts sugar. Mixed together, you can enjoy a truly wonderful drink. Two cups of each are enough to make a refreshing drink. Experiment with the fruits you use, naturally trying to avoid anything too acidic like lemon and lime.
Never use white vinegar, though – that’s the one thing we feel is a needed constant here. If you were to use this form of vinegar it can simply be too strong. Often, apple cider vinegar is your best starting point.
To avoid it being too strong, add a ½ cup of vinegar with each pour until you get it just right. If you are using more tart fruits like cherries and the like, then you might not need to use anywhere near as much as 2 cups.
When ready, I recommend leaving it in the fridge for a day or so. This can allow the taste and strength to really ripen, and to allow it all to combine together in a more natural format. If you want to keep it for a party occasion, lob in some spirit to help make it a bit more engaging in terms of being a party piece.
Of course, one thing you could always do is just make up a normal alcoholic cocktail. Make what you would usually drink – for me, it’s lemonade with Jack Daniels and Honey – and then throw in some vinegar along with it. It can add a great deal of flavor and strength to the drink and should help to make it even more enjoyable.
Throw in some ice and top it up with more soda if you need it: done right, this can make the kind of cocktail that you’ll struggle to wean yourself off of!
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