A Refreshing Addition to Summertime Drinks: Cocktail Ideas from Bella Oliva Taproom

Summer has officially arrived, and we have some great cocktail ideas at Bella Oliva Taproom to keep you cool as temperatures rise. An exciting new trend in stylish bars and restaurants around the country is to include a splash of vinegar in fruity cocktail creations. Why vinegar, you ask?

Vinegar provides a distinctly tangy bite that balances perfectly with the sweetness of fresh fruit. Vinegar quenches thirst, cleanses the palate and is very refreshing.

While it may seem like a radical new idea to add vinegar to drinks, it’s actually a trend that first became popular in the Colonial era when refrigeration wasn’t readily available.

Berries and fruits had such a short shelf after harvest that people used vinegar as an acid to preserve them. With the addition of sugar and water, refrigeration-bereft pioneers had a tart, bracing beverage, called “shrubs.” Of course, it wasn’t long before someone realized that shrubs also made excellent mixers for more spirited drinks.

Now today’s Americans are discovering that mixing a dash of vinegar into your cocktail can add flavor and complexity with a clever combination of sweet and tart notes, offering the ultimate in thirst-quenching refreshment.

Whether you’re hosting a summer party or just need to cool off on a hot day, we think you’ll love these refreshing, fruity cocktails. Here are a few of our favorites, but you can see some great ideas on Yummy as well.

Balsamic Vinegar Cocktails Recipes

Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Sangria

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup brandy
  • 2 bottles Spanish red wine, chilled
  • 2 tbls. sugar
  • ½ cup Bella Oliva Blackberry-Ginger Balsamic
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 cups fruit: lemons, limes, oranges, apples
  • Seltzer water (optional)
  • 2 gallon jar or pitcher

Instructions :

Cut fruit into slices or chunks and put into container with all the ingredients. Let stand in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Pour into a wine glass along with some of the fruit and top with a splash of seltzer (optional).


White Balsamic Peach Sangria

Ingredients :

  • 4 cups assorted summer fruits (mangos, pineapple, cantaloupe, apricots, strawberries, peaches, etc)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil or mint leaves
  • 1 cup Bella Oliva White Peach Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 bottle crisp white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gringo)
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon (optional)
  • Ice

Instructions :

In a large bowl or pitcher, combine fruit, basil or mint, and Peach Balsamic. Mash gently with the back of a wooden spoon until basil or mint is bruised and fruit releases juices. Add wine and lemon juice and stir to combine. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day). To serve, fill glasses with ice and top with Sangria.


Thai Lemongrass Mint Mojito

Ingredients :

  • 8 ounces rum of your choice
  • 12 mint sprigs or spearmint, 8 roughly broken apart
  • 5 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp Bella Oliva Lemongrass-Mint White Balsamic
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • club soda
  • 4 slices lime

Instructions :

Place ice in beverage shaker, then add in the rum, 8 broken up mint sprigs, lime juice, white balsamic and sugar. Shake well and serve over ice in a highball glass. Top off each glass with a splash of club soda and a sprinkle of raw cane sugar. Garnish each with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint.

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