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Got a Great Balsamic? Make a Cocktail!

Vinegars provide a nice kick to boozy drinks


Barons Market's Peach White Balsamic Vinegar. | Photo: Kelly Davis

I was at Barons Market in North Park last week, sipping balsamic vinegar from tiny plastic cups, trying to decide what would taste best in a cocktail. Putting balsamic vinegar in cocktails isn’t new — if you see a cocktail featuring shrubs, it’s basically a vinegar made from fruit, herbs, or both. You can make, and buy, shrubs but it’s easier, and usually cheaper, to just grab a bottle of a nice balsamic vinegar.

I finally decided on Barons' Peach White Balsamic ($9.99 for a 375 ml bottle) and made this damn-fine warm-weather cocktail.

1.5 ounces You and Yours Distillery Sunday Gin (one of my faves)
.5 ounce fresh lemon juice
.5 ounce peach white balsamic vinegar

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with ice, add 1.5 ounces of soda water and give it a quick stir. Garnish with a lemon twist.

I like the peach white balsamic because it’s slightly sweet, so there’s no need to add simple syrup to the cocktail, and it pairs nicely with Your and Yours exceptionally smooth Sunday Gin. Next time, I might experiment with the Italian Lambrusco vinegar, or see how the Honey Ginger white balsamic works with a darker spirit. Or, try adding 1/2 ounce of balsamic to a glass of sparkling wine for a spritzer with a kick.

There are a number of places where you can taste balsamic vinegars before you buy them, to see what might inspire a cocktail. I like Barons — I do my grocery shopping there, so it was convenient to grab a bottle. And no one pestered me as I tasted each vinegar and pondered its perfect pairing.

Got an idea for a future blog post? Email me.

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