How to Make Vinegar Cocktails
Here are some popular vinegar-based cocktails.
When it comes to cocktails, what was once old is new again. Vintage libations, from Gibson martinis to moonshine, are more popular than ever, thanks, in part, to TV shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire and the growing number of speakeasy-style bars that specialize in these concoctions.
Vinegar, or shrub, cocktails are arguably one of the oldest of these trends, dating back to the Colonial era. They fell out of fashion for many, many years, but they’re back — and tastier than ever.
A shrub is mixture of fruit, sugar, water and vinegar, which results in a beverage add-in that’s sweet with a slight spike of tartness. Shrubs can be quaffed alone with a bit of soda water or paired with your favorite liquors.
There are several ways to make a shrub: Quick stovetop shrubs use heat to comingle the ingredients. Cold shrubs allow everything to macerate for several hours in the refrigerator. A third method first infuses vinegar with fruit over several days. (Here are more instructions from The Kitchn.) You can also buy ready-made shrubs from purveyors such as Tait Farm, Liber & Co. and Shrub & Co.
While the sky’s the limit when it comes to the fruit and vinegar, here are some popular options:
Fruit: peaches, berries, rhubarb, plums, apricots, cherries, citrus fruits
Vinegars: apple cider, Champagne, balsamic, fruit vinegars, distilled white
Ginger also makes a great shrub ingredient, as do fresh herbs, such as mint, thyme, rosemary and basil.
Once you’ve made your shrub, it’s time to get drinking. Here are some recipes to get you started: