Adapting Balsamic Vinegars to Classic Cocktails

December 19, 2018


A few years ago, our friends Karl and Karin made a series of bourbon

based cocktails using our balsamic vinegars and it got us thinking

about the well stocked bar and ideas for entertaining.  The photo above

was taken in their San Francisco Pied-à-terre, and we were charmed.


The Oxford Dictionary defines cocktail as "An alcoholic drink consisting of a

spirit or spirits mixed with other ingredients, such as fruit juice or cream".

Specifically, a cocktail may mean a beverage with at least three flavors,

one of which is alcohol.


Even more specifically, a cocktail must contain alcohol, a sugar, and a

bitter or citrus component.  Mixed drinks containing only distilled spirit

and a mixer, such as soda or fruit juice, are considered highballs,.


Mixed drinks without alcohol that resemble cocktails are known as

"mocktails" or "virgin cocktails". We’ve found that balsamic vinegars

suit cocktail making well considering they are both sweet and acidic.


Quality balsamic vinegars used in equal parts with your favorite spirit

can yield simple and refreshing new highball cocktail combinations and

used simply with a good club soda or mineral water produce a refreshing,

healthy mocktail option.


If you’ like to venture beyond highball combinations you might come up with on

your own, we’ve found three recipes online of interest or inspiration.  A santé!


Cocktail Recipes


Michaela Rosenthal, Head Cook,

Glory Foods, Inc. Walnut CA.

Blackberry-Sage Cocktail by Michaela Rosenthal




3 ounces blackberry juice

1-1/2 ounces premium vanilla flavored vodka

1 tsp. blackberry balsamic vinegar

2 sage leaves, plus extra for garnish

1 strip lemon peel

2 ounces club soda

fresh blackberries, garnish




Place blackberry juice, vodka, vinegar, sage and lemon peel in a

cocktail shaker filled half way with ice. Shake to mix well and

strain into an ice filled glass. Top with club soda and garnish with

fresh blackberries and sage leaves.



Balsamic Berry Fizz by Clinton Kelly Emmy winning cohost of

ABC’s daytime hit, The Chew.




1 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 blackberries, muddled (fresh or frozen)

1.5 tsp. simple syrup

2 ounces bourbon

1 splash club soda




Add balsamic vinegar and blackberries to a rocks glass then

Muddle the fruit.Top with ice and add simple syrup and bourbon

Stir to combine. Top with club soda and serve.



Bufala Negra from Food & Wine




4 basil leaves

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

½ ounce simple syrup


1.5 ounces bourbon

1.5 ounces chilled ginger ale




In a cocktail shaker, muddle 3 of the basil leaves with the vinegar

and simple syrup


Add the ice and bourbon, and shake well. Strain the drink into an ice

filled rocks glass abd stir in the ginger ale


Garnish with remaining basil leaf




Print Article

Leave a Comment