4/20/2012 01:50:00 PM

Obsession of the Week: Vinegar-Based Cocktails

Shrub syrups for cocktails 
This week, during visits to Pok Pok and Peels, we encountered some shrubbery in our glasses. No, we're not talking bushes - we mean cocktails that are mixed with vinegar. While that might sound a little icky, it isn't - the vinegar is sweetened in the cocktail making process. The result is complex - a little tart, a little sweet - it makes you want to smack your tongue up against the roof of your mouth and take another sip all at the same time. Peels was pouring a drink dubbed a New York Shrub - a mix of rye, lemon juice, simple syrup and reduced balsamic vinegar (it's basically a balsamic spiked sidecar). Pok Pok doesn't dub their drinks shrubs, but beverages like the Hunny, a mix of tequila, honey drinking vinegar, grapefruit and lime surely fall into this category.

While the prevalence of these drinks might seem new to New Yorkers, they've apparently been around for awhile. A long while. According to the NY Times these libations were popular back in the 1700's, and cocktail books from the time have plenty of vinegar based recipes. When looking down the cocktail list, we always search for our favorites (rye, Green Chartreuse). Sounds like it's time to add vinegar to this list.

Photo: aida mollenkamp via Flickr


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