Beverage Trend: Drinking Vinegars

Vinegar isn't just for salad dressings anymore

By Seattle Mag


May 29, 2013

Pucker up for this year’s trendy summer sipper: drinking vinegar. Perhaps the inevitable extension of canning or pickling, nonalcoholic drinking vinegars (sometimes called shrubs) are made by preserving seasonal fruit in vinegar with a little sugar, and topping it off with soda water. At Bar Sajor in Pioneer Square (, chef de cuisine Edouardo Jordan’s shrubs ($4.50) come in a variety of flavors, such as carrot and beet. We’re partial to the huckleberry, which is served with a glass of the flavor concentrate, a mini pitcher of soda water and an apothecary stirrer to blend it all together. ¶ Seattle’s craft bartenders are also utilizing drinking vinegars as tart, acidic components in cocktails. At Quoin in Fremont (owned by the folks behind Revel and Joule;, you can sip the Marco Polo ($10), made with rum, strawberry–kaffir lime shrub, shiso and sumac, while sitting near the fire pit and taking in the sunset. Or hop over to Essex in Ballard (, where bar manager Gary Abts and owner Brandon Pettit dream up seasonal drinking vinegars ($4) with local ingredients, such as Ballard Bee Company honey, strawberry and rhubarb, all available this month. Rather sip at home? Start with a four-pack of Som drinking vinegars from Portland’s Pok Pok ($58, available at, where chef/owner Andy Ricker has been serving the astringent palate primers since 2005.