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Salt & Vinegar Cocktails

Vinegar is a liquid that can be used for just about anything in your kitchen. Need to clean your coffee dispenser? Vinegar. Salad dressings? Vinegar. Marinades? Vinegar. Fatty dishes? Add some vinegar.

Typically vinegar is just added to food to cut through fat, or brighten a dish. But, have you ever tried adding it to cocktails? Or, have you ever made a shrub? It might sound crazy, but when you think about it…lemon and vinegar can be somewhat synonymous with what they can bring to spirits.

First things first. Salt and vinegar chips have to be in my top ten favorite junk foods. I found a recipe for a Salt & Vinegar Martini, and it blew my mind. The Spare Room, a bar in Los Angeles created this cocktail and it is near and dear to my heart. Here’s the recipe:

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  • 2 oz. vodka (potato-based recommended)
  • 1 oz. dill pickle brine (The Spare Room uses pickled carrot brine)
  • ¾ oz. dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes celery bitters
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Tools: barspoon, strainer
  • Glass: cocktail
  • Garnish: pickled carrot, potato chips

Directions: Add all of the ingredients to a glass and stir well with ice. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a pickled carrot and serve with potato chips. Absolutely genius and super simple!

Now let’s talk shrubs. There are many different types of shrubs, but the general rule of a shrub is two cups fruit, 2 cups vinegar, and two cups water. Here are some awesome examples of some shrub recipes:

  • Strawberries + white sugar + champagne vinegar
  • Peaches + a 50/50 mixture of brown and white sugar + apple cider vinegar + a knob of grated ginger (bonus!)
  • Pears + white sugar + red wine vinegar
  • Blueberries + white sugar + sherry vinegar + a whole lemon’s worth of zest strips (Give ‘em a little sugar scrub to express the oils before adding them to the mix.)
  • Tomatoes (What? YES.) + white sugar + white wine vinegar + a handful of fresh dill and celery seeds

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You can use a shrub right after you make it, or let it sit in the refrigerator to build some more flavor. Either way works. To make a cocktail with your preferred shrub add an ounce of shrub to an ounce and a half of whatever spirit you like, and top it off with some seltzer! This makes a very refreshing and delicious cocktail.

Try it out and let me know how it goes!