Traditional recipes

Strawberry-Balsamic Smash

Strawberry-Balsamic Smash

Recipe Preparation

  • Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, mash two 1/2" lime wedges, two 1/2" rounds of cucumber, 1 fresh hulled strawberry, 1 Tbsp. Simple Syrup (click for recipe), and 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar in a 16-oz. mixing glass or a cocktail shaker 4–5 times just to release juices and oils. Add 1/4 cup gin. Transfer to an Old Fashioned glass. Fill halfway with crushed ice, stir, then mound more crushed ice on top. Garnish with a cucumber round.

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 160 Fat (g) 0 Saturated Fat (g) 0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 8 Dietary Fiber (g) 1 Total Sugars (g) 6 Protein (g) 0 Sodium (mg) 0Reviews Section

8 Cool Cocktails Made with Vinegar (Yes, That’s a Thing)

This season’s must-try drinks are unexpected and even kind of healthy.

Published on March 9, 2017

Contrary to popular belief, vinegar isn’t just for salad dressing. We love it in everything from savory soups to sweet desserts — and, yes, even cocktails. Old school drinking vinegars, also known as shrubs, became popular in the 1600s and have seen a major resurgence in recent years. (Before we go any further, the term shrub refers to a syrup made of fruit, sugar, and vinegar.) Of course, you can totally play with flavors by adding different herbs, spices, and ingredients like honey and vanilla. In short, shrubs are a great way to elevate your cocktail game. Plus, they’re surprisingly simple to make. Ready to channel your inner mixologist? Here, eight spiked shrubs to try this spring.


Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper

Combine the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into chilled ice filled double fashion glass. Garnish with strawberries dusted with black pepper if desired.

The Bobrow

  • 1-1 1/2 oz Shrub Drinks Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Shrub
  • 2 oz small batch Rye Bourbon
  • 1 oz fresh squeeze orange juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 shakes lemon bitters
  • fresh mint & orange peel twist

Combine the first four ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into Collins glass over ice – add bitters, bruised with mint and orange twist.

Shrub Drinks Tuscan 75

  • 1 oz Shrub Drinks Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Shrub
  • 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Champagne / Prosecco / Cava
  • Various berries for garnish

Combine the first three ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into a champagne flute. Top with your sparkler. Garnish with berries.


Jun 16 6.16.15 Strawberry, Balsamic, and Lemon Thyme Smash

I’ve always been a sucker for a good, summery cocktail. You know the kind I’m talking about - a deliciously drinkable libation, perfect for a leisurely summer afternoon spent lounging on the porch. Come summertime, that’s my jam. Usually. Of course, being pregnant kind of puts the whole cocktail thing on hold. But truth be told, I’ve found that it’s really not that big of a deal. I’ve just had to make slightly more creative, alcohol-free porch sippers.

This one in particular is a real standout. Obviously, when strawberries are in season, it’s hard not to make anything you put them in taste delicious. But I’ve found that this winning combination of sweet ripe strawberries, tart balsamic vinegar, and bright lemon thyme is particularly tasty, making for one perfect summer refresher. And being alcohol-free means there’s no inevitable hangover if you accidently have a few too many. Because with a drink this tasty, that’s a definite possibility.

Strawberry, Balsamic, and Lemon Thyme Smash

If you’re not in the process of growing a tiny human and are looking for a slightly more potent beverage, a generous pour of vodka would make a good addition here.

  • 4-5 medium strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 sprigs of lemon thyme (plus one more for garnish)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp good quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • sparkling water (plain or lemon-flavored is best)
  • ice

1. Muddle the strawberries, lemon thyme, sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a large 16 oz glass (I like to use a wide-mouth pint mason jar), until strawberries are well smashed and releasing juices, about 1 minute.

2. Top glass off with sparking water, stirring to combine with the strawberry mixture (it may be a bit foamy at first, but foam will quickly subside). Add ice, garnish with a sprig of lemon thyme, and serve.


What&rsquos in these easy crostini recipe?

The star of this easy appetizer are the balsamic strawberries!

It&rsquos so simple to make as all you have to do is gently toss the ingredients together in a bowl and let the strawberries macerate to allow the juices to release and the strawberries to soften, while the other ingredients mingle together to produce amazing flavours.

First off, balsamic vinegar and strawberries together is a winning combination. The tangy, sweet-tart flavours of the vinegar never overpowers the strawberries, instead it enhances the natural sweetness of the fruit. A light sprinkle of sugar and freshly cracked black pepper further intensifies the flavour of strawberries.

These balsamic strawberries would be amazing on top of vanilla ice cream for a quick dessert or tossed into a light green salad for a light lunch.

Then you get the bread. I like to use a fresh long baguette to make small, two or three bite appetizers, but you can most definitely use larger slices of toasted bread for a breakfast or snack. Or you can cut the slices into pieces to serve as a one-bite appetizer as well.

For the baguette, I like to bake it, so it&rsquos mostly crispy throughout, but you can also broil the bread until it gets crispy on top if you prefer that method.

For either method, I suggest keeping an eye on the oven while the bread toasts. It seems like the bread goes from barely golden to burnt in no time. I&rsquove burned bread so many times.

If you burn the bread or parts of it (I find it happens as the back of oven may be a few degrees warmer than the front), you can try this tip: Take a box grater and using the smallest hole, grate the burned bits off. It will save you from having to throw away the whole piece.

Then, you take each piece and top it with a layer of ricotta cheese.

I like using ricotta as it&rsquos creamy, mild, and slightly sweet. It&rsquos also way lower in calories than cream cheese and a tad less than goat cheese (which would work as a wonderful substitute to ricotta). Perfect to spread onto a piece of toasted crispy bread.

Finally, top the ricotta with the balsamic strawberries and finish with fresh lemon zest and chopped mint to give it a final bright and refreshing flavour!

Overall these strawberry ricotta crostini are:

  • Delicious: Soft balsamic strawberries, creamy light ricotta, and a crispy bread that&rsquos full of tasty flavours and textures.
  • Simple and easy to make: It&rsquos really uncomplicated to prepare, but it looks elegant and colourful when finished.
  • A lovely sweet and savoury appetizer or snack.
  • Perfect to serve when you are entertaining: It&rsquos finger food that&rsquos easy to pick up and eat.

I hope you try this recipe! If you do, please leave me a rating and comment down below, tag me, or use the hashtag #yayforfood on any of my social media. I&rsquom @yay_for_food on Instagram. I&rsquod love a picture.


Strawberry balsamic smash

I have too many late summer strawberries, almost ready to shrivel, darkened red and drying skin. Even the kids aren’t interested anymore they gravitate toward the novelty of my peach sauce.

“Mommy, I don’t want any more strawberries,” Peach says, wrinkling up her nose.

“No boo-bee-bees, Mommy,” Grub tells me. Blueberries are out, too.

i love the precarious tipping strawberry, even pre-tipsy

What better way to rescue these cosmetically-challenged, underappreciated berries with a muddle, a mash, and a swim in some alcohol. And some vinegar. Vinegar? Strawberries, balsamic vinegar, lime, and a grind of black pepper are a great mix: sweet, tangy, sour, and spicy. Put on the “beer goggles” for this one, people. Your friends won’t know how ugly your fruit is (and perhaps some other things, too, after a swig of gin)!


How to Use Vinegar to Make Your Cocktails Taste Amazing

Vinegar is probably the last thing you’d think to reach for when you want to make a refreshing drink. But with a little sugar, a handful of past-its-prime fruit, and about a week in the fridge, vinegar can transform into one of the most complex, mixologist-approved flavors to ever grace your cocktails.

Welcome to Gizmodo’s Happy Hour . Substance abuse for nerds.

I consider myself to be a fairly adventurous drinker, but even I admit, I was fully skeptical of putting such a stinky, sour condiment in my cocktail. I don’t really care for vinegar much at all—I am a committed ranch dressing eater—so the idea of allowing a cleaning product to mingle with my gin sounded like sacrilege.

But shrubs, or drinking vinegars, have been an important element in cocktail-making (or just basic-beverage-making) for years. Since vinegar inhibits the growth of bacteria, shrubs were originally conceived as a way to preserve aging produce. They were very popular in Colonial America and were consumed as far back as Ancient Rome. But there’s another reason they pair well with liquor: Shrubs manage to convey the bright flavors of fruits without adding too much sweetness. This is what also makes them perfect for summer drinking.

You don’t need much to make shrubs, and you’re likely to always have all three ingredients on-hand. Vinegar can indeed be the distilled white gallon bottle you have in your laundry room, or it can be a fancy balsamic one from Italy. Sugar, the plain white kind, will do. And then, of course, fruit, which can totally be a little bruised and mushy. Because shrubs last a few weeks in the fridge, they are a great thing to make if you have a ton of fruit that you don’t know what to do with. The best possible shrub inspiration can be found in the fruit salad you didn’t quite finish at last Sunday’s BBQ.

The idea is to macerate the fruit with a bunch of sugar to create a syrup, which you then add to vinegar. But the key is letting it chill in the fridge for a few days—maybe a week or more. Someone asked me once if shrubs are like kombucha, and although it’s not fermented, it does have the same kind of sour, sparkly sensation on your tongue. But a shrub is not as intense, and it goes way better with booze.

Once you’ve got the methodology down, experimenting is fun. You can use different vinegars, throw in various herbs, and even toss in some bitters. I simply used what I had around the house for these recipes. A dinged-up peach, some mint, and apple cider vinegar turned into a sweet-and-sour bourbon smash. And with some very old strawberries and a handful of basil, I made a gin balsamic drink that was a tangy, perfect take on adult soda. It almost—almost—made me like vinegar.


Light and refreshing, this Blueberry Basil Gin Smash has the subtle flavor of fresh basil and lots of cold, sparkling bubbles. This drink is meant to be sipped outside on a sunny Saturday afternoon with a good book or served with brunch.

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon simple syrup

5 large leaves of fresh basil

1 jigger (3 tablespoons) gin

about 5 jiggers (about 8 oz) soda water, tonic water, seltzer or club soda

optional garnish: 1 basil sprig, 1 slice of lemon, and/or a few blueberries

Add the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, simple syrup, and basil to a highball or tall glass. Use the back of a spoon or a cocktail muddler to muddle the basil.

Fill the glass with ice. Add gin to the glass. Top with about 8 oz of whichever carbonated water you're using.


Strawberry Balsamic Shrubs

Again, a disclaimer: I am in no way a mixologist, I consider most liquors to taste like a ghastly burning liquid version of poop and one of my preferred drinks (read: lesser of the evils) is a long island iced tea, which should give you some idea of my discerning palate and refined taste. (See also: frozen margaritas, amaretto sours, Pimm’s cups, and G&Ts when I’m trying to be socially respectable.)

But shrubs are new territory. Earlier this summer, I had a really delicious non-alcoholic shrub at a restaurant and spent weeks thinking about it before realizing that my first introduction to shrubs had really come years ago, when my aunt had proffered something involving alcohol and something out of a mason jar, which I had politely declined.

Jokes on me, because shrubs (unattractively also known as “drinking vinegars”) are basically a fruit-infused acidic substance that can be added to any drink, alcoholic or not, to amp up flavor–let me repeat: fruit and acid. And sugar. Three of my favorite things, especially when it comes to drinks (dranks).

Serendipitously, the lovely Sherrie and Renee decided to host a virtual #drinkthesummer party right around the time a handful of strawberries were going soft and squishy on me, so my first attempt at a shrub demanded the always-alluring combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar. When thinned with a good splash of sparkling water, a squeeze of lime (plus a half-hearted attempt at muddling basil…) and a pour of gin, I thought these turned out quite nicely–fizzy, fruity, sweet, and a little sour, just how I like. (Though next time, I’d go lighter on the sugar since balsamic vinegar is already fairly sweet, in order to help bring out the acid.)


Serving Suggestions for Balsamic Black Pepper Strawberries

You can go wild with ways to serve these balsamic black pepper strawberries. They are great with summer salads, especially on field greens with some crumbled goat cheese or Gorgonzola. You may not need any other salad dressing.

Serve them as you would other sliced strawberries on desserts. They are delicious on an ice cream sundae. Make a quick dessert by spooning them over toasted pound cake. Take the usual strawberry shortcake up a notch by using balsamic black pepper strawberries. You can even enjoy them by themselves with a bit of whipped cream or lightly sweetened mascarpone.