Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sweet Balsamic Spritzers

Printable Recipe
Refreshing and ever so lightly flavored, these non-alcoholic aperitifs are perfect for brunch or an impromptu afternoon toast or as an excellent palate cleanser between courses for your next swanky multi-course dinner. Though I'm calling these spritzers for their bubbly incandescence, they are not alcoholic and as such, are a much better choice than a Manhattan or Martini before dinner. (Alcohol dulls taste buds and slows digestion.)
I may have never thought to try this simple combination if it hadn't been offered during a tasting of flavored vinegars at the specialty shop where I buy imported olive oils. These oil/vinegar shops are becoming so popular there's a good chance you'll find one in your city or somewhere nearby. Larger groceries also have specialty vinegars such as flavored white balsamics. I first tried Peach White Balsamic with San Pellegrino and was surprised at how light and refreshing it was. Since then I have experimented with many flavors and today offer three favorites: Honey Ginger and Cara Cara (Orange) Vanilla, which are both whites, and D'anjou Pear - a darker balsamic, but still light in flavor. 
A little experimentation with whatever you choose will help you figure out the right vinegar/sparkling water ratio. You can see that the darker D'anjou Pear is the smallest pour of vinegar and the Honey Ginger is the largest, as it's sweeter than the others. Fill each glass to within an inch of the top with San Pellegrino.
Don't forget the garnish! I used a twist of lime with the Honey Ginger, a few raspberries with the Cara Cara Vanilla which is named for the Cara Cara Orange, and Black Raspberries with the dark D'anjou Pear. You choose whatever looks and tastes appealing to you. 

SummerSoiree is on at the Food Network blogsite! We're all blogging together about Summer Sips today, but stay tuned each week for fresh ideas from your finds at the Farmer's Market or delicious dishes for picnics and parties all summer long! Here are more refreshing ideas!


  1. This reminds me of shrubs... very refreshing drinks in the summer. Nice!

  2. Thanks, Carrie. You're right about the similarity to using shrubs, except with vinegars you can avoid the sugar! Just last month I toured the Napa wine country and attended a tasting of shrubs at Napa Valley Distillery. Such a variety of flavors! And so many ideas for cocktails, too.


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