Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Time for a Cocktail: The Local

The seed of the idea for this cocktail started with balsamic vinegar.

Yes, vinegar. I went to a shop here in town called Picasso's Olive Oil Company that sells custom olive oils and vinegar, and when I tasted the cherry balsamic vinegar, I thought, gee, I could drink this stuff!.

And then I thought, well, why not?

Now before you think it's weird to put vinegar in a drink, you have to know about this vinegar. When I tasted it, the first thing I thought of was tart cherry pie filling. Yes, there's tarness. But there's also sweetness and a LOT of cherry flavor.

So, once I had it in my head that this stuff was drinkable, that meant I had to figure out what to pair it with to make an actual drink and not just a slurp of vinegar. What to do? I decided that since I bought the vinegar from a local purveyor, I should use local ingredients all the way.

Next, I decided to use Peak 7 Vodka, which is vodka from a Colorado company.

And then I decided to finish the concept with a little bit of a local honey. I chose the Ambrosia honey from Madhava. It's one of my favorites. If you have a chance to try it, buy it.

So what did I call it?

The Local

Madhava Ambrosia Honey
1 ounce Peak 7 vodka
1 teaspoon Picasso's Olive Oil black cherry balsamic vinegar
Club soda, soda water, tonic water, sparkling water, or ... water water (as needed)

Fill a short, squat glass with ice. Drizzle some honey along the insides of the glass.

Add the cherry balsamic vinegar and the vodka. Top with a splash of the water-like substance - or more, as desired. It depends on how strong you like your drinks, really. You could make this in a tall glass with a lot of soda, if that's what you wanted.


Now, don't go blaming me if you make this with plain balsamic vinegar and it tastes horrible. Because it probably will. Or if you try some other cherry vinegar and it tastes awful. The vinegar needs to taste right, or you're doomed. If you don't think the stuff you've got will work, use a tart cherry syrup or even cherry mosto cotto instead. Or maybe a splash of pomegranate molasses.

Disclaimer: I received the Peak7 vodka from the company; I bought the honey, vinegar, and, well, we pay for our water, too.