Vinegar Cocktails and Drinks Vinegar is probably the last thing you’d think to reach for when you want to make a refreshing drink. If you only know balsamic from a grocery store, then you've probably never tasted the real thing. True balsamic should taste more like super intense grape juice, with a hint of natural sweetness. And just like olive oil, these come in a range of flavors and can be used in the most unlikely of places, including (and here's what we've all been waiting for) DRINKS! The hottest way to get your vinegar these days is to drink it, and what better way to down the trend than with a refreshing non-alcoholic spritzer or a deliciously buzz-inducing cocktail? So, with a little imagination, a handful of past-its-prime fruit, vinegars can transform an everyday drink into a mixologist DREAM! As an added treat, there are several health benefits while enjoying it, from improving blood sugar levels to protecting your heart health—that’s what we call a win-win.
Tools and ingredients necessary include two martini glasses, a cocktail shaker, a good vodka, chocolate balsamic vinegar and lavender sugar to rim the glass. • Rim two chilled martini glasses with lavender sugar • Chill approximately 3 ounces of vodka in the cocktail shaker • Add 1 tablespoon of Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • Shake all ingredients and strain into glasses
Strawberry Basil Balsamic with Gin
• A bunch of strawberries, very ripe • Sugar • Cask 10 Balsamic Vinegar or Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • Basil • Gin (I used Hendricks) • Sparkling water or club soda (I used LaCroix) Cut the strawberries into chunks and toss them with sugar in a bowl until they’re well-coated. Put it in the fridge overnight until the sugar has dissolved. Strain the syrup out, squeezing out the solids, and mix with an equal part balsamic vinegar. Put it in a jar in the fridge and shake it once or twice a day. For this one I wanted a brighter basil flavor, so I made a basil simple syrup, combining one cup of water with one cup of sugar that I added a ton of basil to and let sit until it dissolved. In a tall glass, add equal parts gin and strawberry balsamic and about half the amount of the basil syrup. Top with sparkling water for a little fizz and add a festive straw.
Peach Mint with Bourbon
• A peach or two, very ripe • Sugar • Golden Apple Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • Mint • Bourbon (I used Makers Mark) Cut the peach in chunks and toss them with sugar in a bowl until they’re well-coated. Put it in the fridge overnight until the sugar has dissolved. Strain the syrup out, squeezing out the solids, and mix with an equal part vinegar. Toss in a handful of mint leaves, put it in a jar in the fridge and shake it once or twice a day. You can drink the shrub right away, but it will get better after a few days. In a cocktail shaker, mix equal parts bourbon and peach shrub and shake it good. Pour into a tumbler over a large ice cube and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Tools and ingredients necessary include a champagne flute, prosecco, cranberry pear balsamic vinegar, sugar coated cranberries for garnish. • Pour prosecco in champagne flute • Drizzle in about 1 teaspoon of cranberry pear balsamic to taste (gusto della vita) • Float a few sugar-coated cranberries in glass for garnish
Balsamic Vodka Soda
Tools and ingredients necessary include a highball glass, a cocktail shaker, great vodka, soda water, honey ginger balsamic and fresh mint. • Fill highball glass with ice • Add 1.5 ounces of vodka and soda water (amount depends on how strong you like your libations) to cocktail shaker • Add about 2 teaspoons of Honey Ginger Balsamic (gusto della vita) to taste and shake • Pour into glass and garnish with fresh mint
This hot cocoa recipe as “a yummy citrusy, cinnamon tasting cocoa on a cool morning (or any morning!). It’s velvety smooth, not-too-sweet taste makes it a great start to your day!” Serves 1 • 1 cup organic milk (nonfat, 1%, 2% or whole) • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder • 1 ½ teaspoons organic sugar • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla (alcohol free) • 1 dash cinnamon (approx. 1/8 teaspoon) • ¼ teaspoon Blood Orange Olive Oil (gusto della vita) Pour the milk in a small saucepan over a low heat (it’s important to keep the heat low so the milk doesn’t scald). Add the cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk together as the mixture warms (approximately 5-10 minutes). The cocoa powder takes a little bit of time to get mixed in with the milk so be patient! When the mixture is at a temperature you like, add the olive oil and continue to cook over a low heat for another minute or two. Pour into a mug and enjoy! Garnish with a slice of orange if desired. Note: As you’re drinking the cocoa you made need to stir as the unsweetened cocoa powder doesn’t always stay mixed.
Lemon Rosemary Cocktail
Try this olive oil cocktail with gin, egg whites, lemon, and our Lemon Olive Oil • 2 oz. gin • ½ oz. Cointreau • 1 oz. lemon juice • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract • ½ oz. simple syrup • 1 egg white • ½ oz. Lemon Olive Oil (gusto della vita) • Ice Rosemary sprigs (optional) Combine gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, vanilla, and simple syrup in a measuring cup or glass. Set aside. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice, add egg white and lemon olive oil. Shake heartily until fully emulsified, around 200 shakes (get your workout in!) Add the rest of the ingredients and shake until combined, about 10 seconds or so. Strain into a champagne flute or rocks glass and serve. As the cocktail settles the foam may separate out, and that’s okay. Top it off with a rosemary stem!
This Spiced Sangria is perfect for entertaining and can be adapted with any of your favorite Balsamic Vinegars. We like a darker balsamic vinegar, like our Cask 10 Balsamic or Fig Balsamic. If you’d like to use a White Balsamic, like peach, try swapping the apples for peaches and nectarines! Serves 8 • 1 750 ml bottle of red wine • ¼ cup of Cask 10 Balsamic Vinegar or Fig Balsamic (gusto della vita) • 10 cinnamon sticks • 1 orange sliced • 1 apple, cored and thinly sliced • 1 cup ginger ale Add two of the cinnamon sticks, apples and oranges to a large pitcher. Add the wine and balsamic vinegar and let steep at least four hours or overnight. To serve, add the ginger ale and stir. Fill the pitcher with ice. Pour the sangria into glasses filled with ice and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Non-Alcoholic Version: You can easily make this a non-alcoholic sangria by replacing the wine with equal parts cranberry juice and ginger ale.
The Black Buffalo is a bourbon-based cocktail created by a master mixologist. Our slightly adapted version features ginger ale, fresh basil, and Cask 10 Balsamic Vinegar. • 1 ½ oz. bourbon • 4 fresh basil leaves (see note) • ½ teaspoon turbinado sugar • 1 teaspoon Cask 10 Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • 2 oz. ginger ale Muddle the balsamic, 3 basil leaves and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Add bourbon and ice and shake well. Strain over fresh ice cubes into a glass. Top with ginger ale and garnish with basil leaf. Cheers! Note: For an extra blast of basil, add a ½ teaspoon of Basil Olive Oil to the shaker!
This thriller features both Blood Orange Olive Oil and Blood Orange Soda for a frightfully refreshing cocktail. It will inspire you to try more cocktails with olive oil! • 1 tablespoon Blood Orange Olive Oil (gusto della vita) • 2 oz. Svedka Cucumber Lime Vodka • ½ oz. Fresh Lime Juice • ½ oz. Simple Syrup • San Pellegrino Blood Orange Sparkling Soda Pour 1 tablespoon of Blood Orange Olive Oil into highball glass. Fill 3/4th with ice. In cocktail shaker add 2 oz. of Svedka Cucumber Lime Vodka, ½ oz. lime juice, ½ oz. simple syrup and shake for 10-15 seconds and pour over ice. Top off with San Pellegrino Blood Orange Sparkling Soda. Serve with straw (this is important for stirring in oil as drinking), and garnish with cherry and orange wheel.
This spicy take on a margarita features Jalapeno Olive Oil and will inspire you to try more cocktails with olive oil! • 1 teaspoon Jalapeno Olive Oil (gusto della vita) • 2 oz. Jose Cuervo Tequila Silver • 1 oz. Triple Sec • 1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice • Lime Wedge Pour 1 teaspoon of Jalapeno Olive Oil into highball glass. Fill 3/4th with ice. In cocktail shaker add 2 oz. of Jose Cuervo Tequila Silver, 1 oz. of triple sec, and 1 oz. of lime juice. Shake for 10-15 seconds and pour over ice. Serve with straw (this is important for stirring in oil as drinking) and lime as garnish.
Across the Universe Cocktail
This one is a crowd-pleasing rum drink flavored with strawberry and lime and will have you thinking about making more cocktails with vinegar! • 1 tablespoon Strawberry Balsamic (gusto della vita) • 2 oz. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum with Lime Bite • Club Soda • Strawberries • Lime Wedge Muddle a few strawberries in low ball glass. Add 1 tablespoon of Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar. Fill glass 3/4th of ice. Add 2 oz. of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum with Lime Bite. Top off with club soda. Stir for 5-10 seconds. Serve with lime garnish.
This festive sparkling wine cocktail is the perfect way to kick off a holiday party! This cocktail also works well with cranberry juice and fresh cranberries. Serves 1 • 1 teaspoon Cask 10 Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • 1 teaspoon pomegranate juice • 4 oz. sparkling wine • 1 teaspoon pomegranate seeds • A drizzle of Blood Orange Olive Oil (gusto della vita) In a small bowl, toss the pomegranate seeds with Blood Orange Olive Oil. In a champagne flute, add the balsamic vinegar and pomegranate juice. Pour in the sparkling wine and garnish with orange-scented pomegranate seeds. Cheers!
Fresh Tomato Bloody Mary
This is not your everyday Bloody Mary. This is what you make when you have an abundance of summer tomatoes and want to treat yourself. It’s bright and fresh and tastes of the garden with a bright burst of Jalapeno Olive Oil. Makes 4 servings • 3 lbs. beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped • ½ tablespoon sea salt • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice • 1 tablespoon horseradish • 1 teaspoon hot sauce • 2 tablespoons Jalapeno Olive Oil (gusto della vita) • 2 teaspoons (or more to taste) hot sauce Place the chopped tomatoes in a blender and puree until smooth. You may need to do this in batches. Push the tomato puree through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl until all the liquid is in the bowl and only solids remain. Discard the solids. You should have about 4 cups of tomato juice. Season the juice with sea salt and the next 5 ingredients. Whisk well to incorporate or run through the blender to more thoroughly combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste. To serve, place mix the juice with four ounces of ice cold vodka and serve over ice. Garnish with a celery stalk and anything pickled that you can get your hands on.
Peach Balsamic Smash
We love a good smash and this one features fresh peaches, mint and our Georgia Peach Balsamic Vinegar. We use bourbon in this recipe, but vodka works nicely here as well. If you like this recipe, try our Strawberry Balsamic Smash and our Pineapple Balsamic Smash! Serves 1 • 1 teaspoon Georgia Peach Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • 3 slices fresh peach (about 1/4 of a peach) • 3 - 4 fresh mint leaves • 3 oz. bourbon • 1 oz. club soda Fresh mint sprig, to garnish In a tall glass, combine the vinegar, most of peaches (reserve a few pieces for garnish) and a few mint leaves. Muddle with the back of a spoon (or a muddler if you have one!) to gently break up the fruit and mint. Fill the glass with ice and add the bourbon. Top with club soda and garnish with additional peach and mint.
Strawberry Balsamic Smash
We love a good smash and this one features fresh strawberries, basil and our Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar. We use gin in this recipe, but vodka works nicely here as well. If you like this recipe try our Pineapple Balsamic Smash! Serves 1 • 1 teaspoon Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • 3 fresh strawberries, sliced • 2 fresh basil leaves • 3 oz. gin • 1 oz. club soda In a tall glass, combine the vinegar, most of strawberries (reserve a few pieces for garnish) and one basil leaf. Muddle with the back of a spoon (or a muddler if you have one!) to gently break up the berries and basil. Fill the glass with ice and add the gin. Top with club soda and garnish with additional strawberry and basil.
Mulled Wine Cocktail
We make a lot of cocktails with balsamic, but we can’t help it, they just work! We came up with this Mulled Spice Cocktail, that has all the things we love about mulled wine, but it’s served chilled and will feed (or water) a crowd. This punchy mixture is also delicious with sparkling wine served in a champagne flute. Serves 4 • ½ cup Mulled Spice Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • 1 cinnamon stick • 1 750 ml bottle of red wine • 1 orange, halved and sliced • ½ cup Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur cinnamon sticks for garnish, optional In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the cinnamon stick and vinegar and simmer until reduced by half. Remove the cinnamon stick. In a pitcher, combine the red wine, orange slices, and Grand Marnier and stir. Add half the reduced vinegar and taste. If you prefer a sweeter cocktail, you may want to add the remaining reduction. Serve in rocks glasses over ice with a cinnamon stick and orange slice for garnish.
Fig Old Fashioned
We love balsamic vinegar in a cocktail and Fig Balsamic Vinegar is the perfect addition to this belly-warming cocktail made with bourbon. This delicious twist on the classic Old Fashioned made with fresh figs and Fig Balsamic Vinegar. Cheers! Serves 1 • 1 fresh fig, cut in quarters • 1 orange slice, cut in half • 3 dashes Angostura bitters • 1 teaspoon Fig Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • ½ teaspoon maple syrup • 2 oz. bourbon Splash of water Ice In a rocks glass, muddle half the fig, one orange slice, bitters, vinegar and maple syrup until combined. Add bourbon, a splash of water and ice and stir to mix. Garnish with remaining fig and orange slice and enjoy.
Summer Stone Fruit Sangria
While we don’t ever recommend drinking bad wine, since you’re doctoring the wine with other flavors, it’s okay to go with something less expensive. If you’ve ever picked something up at the grocery store and not loved the flavor profile, turn it into sangria! For one batch, you’ll need: Serves 4 – 6 • 1 750 ml bottle of rose • 1/3 cups of Georgia Peach Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • 2 cups of chopped peaches, nectarine, apricots and plums • ½ cup of brandy Combine first 4 ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight. Add ginger ale just before serving. Enjoy!
While we don’t ever recommend drinking bad wine, since you’re doctoring the wine with other flavors, it’s okay to go with something less expensive. If you’ve ever picked something up at the grocery store and not loved the flavor profile, turn it into sangria! For one batch, you’ll need: Serves 4 – 6 • 1 750 ml of white wine • 1/3 cup of Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • 2 cups chopped pineapple, mango and kiwi • 1 cup ginger ale Combine first 4 ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight. Add ginger ale just before serving. Enjoy!
Sparkling Apple Pomegranate Punch
We love a good cocktail. And just like we eat with the seasons, we also drink with the seasons. This sparkling punch recipe featuring our Golden Apple Balsamic Vinegar has festive flavors that make it the perfect party punch for colder months. Serves 10 – 12 • 1 orange, thinly sliced crosswise • ½ cup pomegranate seeds • 1 apple, diced • 2 cups Riesling – see note • 2 cups pomegranate juice • ¼ cup Golden Apple Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • 2 22 oz. bottles dry hard apple cider – see note Add the first three ingredients (oranges through apples) to a large pitcher or punch bowl. Next, add the wine, juice and vinegar. If you’d like to make the punch in advance, punch can be stored, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 24 hours. Add the hard cider just before serving. Serve over ice. Note: We used a dry Riesling, but if you want your punch a little sweeter, you can choose an off-dry Riesling. For the hard cider, we chose Julian Hard Cider for its dry, crisp apple flavor.
Sweet Peach Iced Tea
This is a tasty sweet tea that is great as is, but can be spiked with a little vodka and peach schnapps for a grown-up kick. Serves 8 • ½ cup Georgia Peach Balsamic Vinegar (gusto della vita) • ¼ cup sugar • 1 quart unsweetened iced tea • 2 peaches, diced Mint leaves, to garnish 1. In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar and sugar just until the sugar dissolves. Note: If you are brewing the tea yourself instead of purchasing prepared iced tea, simply add the vinegar and sugar to the hot tea to dissolve. 2. In a large pitcher, combine the sweetened tea with diced peaches and add ice. Serve each glass garnished with a mint leaf.
White Peach Cooler
What better way to toast the arrival of summer, than with a refreshing, peachy cocktail? I came up with this sipper after tasting Georgia Peach Balsamic. It’s zingy, refreshing and over-the-top peachy which seems like a natural match for a summer cocktail. This recipe also works beautifully with Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar! To make one cocktail, you’ll need: • Ice Cubes • 2 oz. vodka • ½ oz. fresh squeezed lime juice • ½ oz. Georgia Peach Balsamic (gusto della vita) • ½ oz. simple syrup (See Note) • 2 - 3 fresh mint leaves • 1 oz. rose sparkling wine Lime wheels for garnish, optional In a cocktail shaker filled partially with ice, add the vodka, lime juice, Georgia Peach Balsamic, simple syrup, and mint leaves. Shake well and pour into a tumbler filled with ice. Float one ounce of rose sparkling wine on top of the cocktail and garnish with a lime wheel and enjoy! Note – Simple syrup is made by heating equal parts sugar and water in a pan until the sugar dissolves to form a syrup. I usually make a batch from one cup of sugar and one cup of water that I store in a plastic squeeze bottle in my fridge. I keep it on hand to sweeten coffee, tea, and cocktails.