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Vinegar is a weirdly delicious drink

Pucker up! Drinking vinegars are in vogue

The favourite tipple of Roman soldiers is making a comeback

The favourite tipple of Roman soldiers is making a comeback

Cillian O’Connor | February/March 2019

A few years ago shrubs – fermented, vinegar-based fruity drinks – started to creep on to the drinks menus of health bars. It turns out they were a gateway drug; now straight vinegar, once the toast of Roman soldiers, is mounting its own comeback. It is still a bit of an acquired taste – the first gulp causes mouths to pucker. But it is finding fans, particularly among clean-eating millennials.

“People are increasingly looking for a healthier alternative to alcohol,” says Rory McCoy, co-owner of Little Duck – The Picklery, an east London restaurant that serves a range of its own drinking vinegars infused with ingredients such as cranberry and sage, or purple carrot and ginger. “Because we use raw apple cider vinegar, our drinking vinegars are packed with enzymes, amino acids and mild probiotics.”

Apple cider vinegar is perhaps not the cure-all Hippocrates thought it to be when prescribing it in ancient Greece. But its proponents claim that it has health benefits, including reducing blood-sugar levels, aiding digestion and making you feel full. And it can be surprisingly delicious, whether served over ice, sweetened with honey and topped with soda water, or infused with fruit and sugar.

For those who need something a little stiffer to help the medicine go down, there are vinegar-based cocktails. Apples & Apples – a smooth yet refreshingly tart mix of Calvados, agave nectar and a dash of apple cider vinegar from New York bar Dante – is just what the doctor ordered.