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Shaken & Stirred: Vinegars give NYC cocktails a new kick

on 22/04/13 at 8:05 am

Booze News

imagesWhen wine turns to vinegar, it’s past its prime. But vinegar in a cocktail is part of a timely drinking trend.

Speakeasy-style bars across the city are using shrubs, which are vinegar-based syrups infused with fruit and spices, in cocktails. And local Asian restaurants are incorporating drinking vinegars, long considered healthy, into spirited libations.

“Vinegar works really well as an alternative acid,” said Deborah Marskey, a co-founder of Shrub and Co., which prepares the pre-made syrups for bars and home mixologists. “You can squeeze limes or lemons all day long, but a shrub achieves that same balance in a cocktail — while carrying fruit flavor really well.”

Here are a few New York City spots where you can try out the trend.

The Hunny at Pok Pok

Chef Andy Ricker spotted drinking vinegars in Asian markets around Portland, Ore., several years ago. So he brought them back to his restaurant Pok Pok to try.

“A couple of the flavors weren’t that great-tasting, but a couple were fantastic,” Ricker says. Mixing them with soda water or in cocktails became a perfect accompaniment to the Thai food Ricker was dishing up in Portland and also, later, in Brooklyn…