Fresh citrus is the traditional way of adding acidity to cocktails, but it’s not the only way.
Vinegars like apple cider and balsamic also lend a necessary zing to drinks, along with funky complexity and depth. Here, seven drinks to make that will convince you to always keep a bottle of vinegar close to the bar.
1. Bufala Negra
This supersimple cocktail is made with aromatic basil, aged balsamic vinegar, bourbon and ginger ale.
2. Autumn in New York
Combined with lemon juice, the apple cider vinegar in this cocktail is peculiarly delicious with pear brandy.
3. Charleston Sour
In this tribute to his hometown, Charleston, mixologist Ryan Casey uses a DIY pineapple vinegar.
4. Coy Roy
Mixologist Shannon Ponche describes this tequila cocktail as “robust and boozy, kind of like a twist on a Sazerac.” She gives it a great sweet-tart flavor with maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. "Pineapples are all over Charleston...on people's gates and on a big fountain downtown," he says.
5. Strawberry-Basil-Balsamic Daquiri
This pleasantly sweet-tangy drink was inspired by the classic Italian pairing of strawberries and balsamic vinegar.
6. Beaujolais Cobbler with Raspberry Shrub (above)
This sangria-like drink is a cobbler—a classic cocktail combining some kind of liquor or wine with sugar and fresh fruit. It’s spiked with a vinegar syrup called a shrub, for a tart, refreshing, complex edge.
7. Duls Cocktail
A perfect brunch cocktail, this drink is a mix of Prosecco, ruby port, balsamic vinegar and sugared strawberries.