In Good Taste: Balsamic at the Bar Buys Bliss

Published 12:45 pm Monday, June 29, 2015

ingoodtaste IMG_9553

By Carol Lynn Jackson
Photo by Mark Schmerling
Life In Our Foothills, July 2015

Balsamic vinegar has remained one of my favorite salad and cooking ingredients. Its willingness to go tart or sweet allows an amateur cook like me room for correction within a dressing or a glaze. Speaking of glaze, add a little sugar and some red wine, sea salt and pepper, cook down to reduce by half and you have a sweet and salty glaze to wilt your greens like mustards, spinach, or chard with the mixture.

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I just tried it recently and invited caramelized sweet spring onions to the party. Yum!

With all the specialty shops showcasing vinegars and oils, it’s easier than ever to find inspiration with offerings of flavored balsamic vinegars like ginger pear and vanilla fig. They make amazing vinaigrettes that can substitute as marinades and what is really trending are the cocktails that can come of their versatility.

When catering a Lebanese menu for a dear friend’s wedding reception last month, I offered to also make a signature cocktail for their guests that was inspired by the season and the country of Lebanon. After researching online a bit, I found this recipe by Amoretti Vinegars for the Pomegranate Strawberry Balsamic Highball.

Local organic strawberries, some key limes and yep, a pomegranate balsamic vinegar are the main fresh ingredients, reduced simple syrups, vodka and some “fuzzy water” as I call it and we are sipping our way to a unique July cocktail.


And congratulations and life-long happiness to one of our Foothills newest wedded couples, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen and June Lefebvre.•

Pomegranate Strawberry Balsamic Highball
by Amoretti Vinegars

3 oz vodka
1 oz simple syrup
0.5 oz fresh-squeezed key lime juice
0.5 oz pomegranate balsamic vinegar simple syrup
3 strawberries (reserve one)
Tonic water

Start by adding a ¼ cup of water to a ¼ cup of any pomegranate balsamic vinegar. Bring this mixture to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat to low, allowing it to gently simmer for a minute. Remove the mixture from the heat. Allow it to cool, and store it in a glass container. Hull two of the strawberries. Slice the third halfway for use as a garnish. Add vodka and the two hulled strawberries to a mixing glass. Muddle intensely! (You won’t overdo it.) Next, add the simple syrup, lime juice, and the balsamic simple syrup to the mixing glass. Mix well. Pour ingredients into a tall Collins glass filled with ice. Top with tonic water. Garnish with the third sliced strawberry. Serve with a straw and enjoy!