Drinking Vinegars are perhaps the trendiest drink of the summer, but not without excellent reason. Sweet, sour, and refreshing, they fit the flavor profile of popular farm-to-table cocktails but without the alcohol. I’ve been drinking apple cider vinegar cut with seltzer for years to aid my digestion, and additional benefits include lower blood pressure and prevention of heat stroke. I was looking for appetizing ways to share the benefits I’ve felt with others when I stumbled upon this recipe. Feel free to experiment as we come into berry and tree fruit season here in the northeast!
Strawberry Rhubarb Balsamic Drinking Vinegar
½ cup strawberries
½ cup rhubarb
¾ cup good balsamic vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup sugar*
*most recipes call for a 1:1:1 ratio of fruit to vinegar to sugar; I personally feel that too much sugar detracts from the digestive benefits of the vinegar but the choice is yours!
In a nonreactive pitcher or bowl (glass or ceramic) combine fruit with sugar. Stir to coat and let macerate 1 hour. Mash fruit mixture with a wooden spoon and then cover and place in the fridge overnight.
Remove fruit mixture from fridge. Stir and mash fruit (the mix should be significantly more liquid by now). Add vinegars, stir, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let sit out on counter 7-9 days.
Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Add drinking vinegar to sparkling water in 1:1 ratio and serve with ice. Store excess in fridge.
Yum! If you’re not already convinced, here are some more great things about drinking vinegars:
-You can use “second pick” of any fruit for this recipe; bruised and soft fruit is actually best. As long as the vinegar completely covers the fruit mixture, spoilage is a non issue because of the high level of acidity.
-One of the benefits I listed above is that this is a non-alcoholic beverage… but it does make for a killer mixer!
One word of caution: vinegar is popular amongst people practicing wholesome diets, but like anything “cleansing”, they should be ingested sparingly. Certain Ayurvedic types can be aggravated by too much sour food. For pretty much everyone, one glass a day is enough to stimulate digestion, but stops short of being excessive.
- Liz Montgomery