- Very Good, Jeeves, P.G. Wodehouse
Being only familiar with raspberry vinegar as something we make to mix with olive oil for a nice summer salad, we at Good Booze have puzzled over the above quote from a favorite Roaring Twenties short story collection for years. Why would a woman have raspberry vinegar with her eclair? Doesn’t sound appetizing, let alone luxurious, at all, but perhaps prohibition had rattled P.G. Wodehouse to the extent that he thought a glass of vinegar was preferable to bathtub gin.
But all was revealed recently when we read about the line of fruit drinking vinegars now available on the retail market by Pok Pok Tom, a popular Thai restaurant in Portland, Oregon. A quick search on Google revealed a New York Times article about — wait for it — raspberry vinegar that is sweetened and boiled into a syrup. Add just a teaspoon or so to a glass of club soda and what you have is an incredibly refreshing drink that is both sweet and acidic, with the faintest hint of vinegar to help you digest all those macaroons.
We see a lot of cocktail potential in this charming reminder of a bygone era — so keep your eye out for this Friday’s Tipple. You’ve got plenty of time to make your own drinking vinegar before then!
Roaring Twenties Raspberry Vinegar
Drinking vinegar recipes are largely the same across the board, just varying the types of fruit and vinegar, and sometimes using honey instead of sugar. Here’s our version, which yielded almost 4 cups total.
2 16-ounce bottles of red wine vinegar
3 cups fresh raspberries
5 cups sugar
Put the vinegar and raspberries in a large bowl, cover, and let sit for up to three days (or even four, to deepen the flavor). Uncover and mash the raspberries into the vinegar, then strain the liquid into a saucepan. Add the sugar and bring just to a boil, then turn the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, let cool, and bottle. Most recipes say it will keep refrigerated for three months, but we doubt it will last that long, simply because we will slurp it down too quickly.