Fustini's Oils and Vinegars

Boost Your Summer Beverages with Balsamic

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From sweet tea to ice cold lemonade, there are certain beverages we often associate with warmer weather and the summertime season. When the temperatures rise, you want something that will cool you off and taste delicious at the same time as you’re relaxing by the pool, spending the day at the beach or having a quiet evening on your back porch. For adults, you may just crack open a cold one, pour yourself a glass of your favorite white or blend up a frozen concoction.

Whatever your drink of choice - whether boozy or not - there are some fun ways you can amp up your go-to by adding in new flavors and ingredients. Ingredients like fruity and light balsamic vinegars.

Wait, vinegar in a drink? Absolutely. Balsamic vinegar brings a boost of flavor that’s not too overpowering of the other existing ingredients. And with its countless health benefits, adding a splash of vinegar is a quick and healthy way to amp up the flavor without artificial flavors or colors.

Getting these balsamic health benefits doesn’t mean you’ve got to drink it straight from the bottle. Here we share five easy ways you can bring new life to your beverage with the versatile addition of balsamic.

1. Water

Drinking water is essential to staying hydrated, having energy and maintaining your overall health. But sometimes, water might get a little boring, especially when you are intentionally increasing your intake.

Rather than reaching for processed flavoring packets full of sugar substitutes and artificial flavoring, just grab your bottle of your favorite light and fruity balsamic to add to your water bottle. If you already make fruit-infused water, adding a few drops of balsamic can compliment that fruity flavor. Oftentimes, a little bit of balsamic can go a long way in transforming your water.

Some of our favorite vinegars to incorporate in either flat or sparkling water include West Michigan Blueberry and Peach. Check out this recipe to make your own “Fus-tini” with just sparkling water and your favorite balsamic.

2. Lemonade / Limeade

There’s nothing like a glass of cold, fresh lemonade to celebrate the summer season. Transform the powdered lemonade or limeade mix and take your lemonade stand (or glass) to a whole new level by adding in a splash or two of balsamic. Just drizzle in a little bit of Sicilian Lemon for an extra lemony boost. Or, add in other fruity flavors to give your glass a more dynamic taste.

For example, this Limade recipe incorporates all the great flavors of summer into one delicious glass. Pair the tart lime flavor with soft and fresh strawberries, adding in some Strawberry (only available online) or Raspberry balsamic to amp up the berry taste. You can also add sweetness to your drink with wholesome and natural Michigan Pure Honey to give you the taste you want without the added sugar you don’t.

3. Mixed Drinks

For adult audiences only, there are also other great ways you can spice up your favorite mixed drink or cocktail. Incorporating balsamic into your drinks helps you get a boost of flavor without the added sugary ingredients that can make drinks quite unhealthy.

The acidity in balsamic serves as a flavorful alternative to juices like lemon and lime that give your glass an extra spark. Many of these mixed drinks, or some may be called “shrubs,” have very basic ingredients typical in bartending with this extra source of acidity through vinegar. Whatever your preferred liquor of choice, chances are you can make a drink that includes your favorite liquor and favorite balsamic vinegar. Usually, the typical ratio is 8oz of soda water, 3 tablespoons of your favorite liquor and about 1.5 tablespoons of your favorite white or dark balsamic. You can also add in some simple syrup to enhance your drink as well.

Add it to spiked sparkling water. Create variety with your Screwdriver by adding a fruity balsamic in with your orange juice and vodka.

This Peach Punch can be a great starting point in incorporating vinegar in your mixed drinks. It uses the fresh flavor of peach with the rum and cognac and pairs well with the lemon juice.

4. Sangria

If you’re more of a wine drinker, making sangrias with balsamic is also a quick and easy way to amp up the flavor of your drink instantly. Sangrias are known for being full of fruity flavor, so a fruity balsamic is a natural addition that pairs well with whatever fruit combination you choose.

Whether you’re going for a more tart and citrus sangria or a sweet berry sangria, choosing a flavor-infused balsamic vinegar can add in another component to the drink and bring in the health benefits.

This Peach Sangria recipe combines the fruits of pineapple, orange, peach and lemon into one delicious glass. With a bottle of pinot grigio or other similar white wine, you can be on your way to a new entertaining drink that can make you seem like a true bartender.

5. Hot (Iced) Chocolate

So maybe hot chocolate isn’t the first drink you think of during the summertime season, there are also quick and easy ways you can weave in the versatile flavor of balsamic into your chocolate beverages, enjoyed hot or iced.

Whether sipped around the fire on a cool evening or to savor as dessert, hot or iced chocolate can be made according to what you enjoy most. Check out this hot chocolate recipe that is topped with a whipped cream using Cara Cara Vanilla balsamic and Espresso Bean reduction sauce.

Sip Up This Summer

With so many ways to incorporate balsamic vinegar into your favorite summertime drinks, you can be trying new flavor combinations and tastes all season. Whether sweet or savory or tart, balsamic flavors can accommodate any and all taste buds. Try out some recipes today to wow your friends and family and your new bartending and barista skills - with balsamic as your secret ingredient.

 

 

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