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By Catherine Kenwell

Last Saturday finally gave us the weather we’ve been waiting for—warm, sunny and summery! So BOO decided to offer downtown shoppers a summertime treat—a cool refreshing shot of balsamic vinegar and sparkling water!

To say our customers were puzzled at first is an overstatement. “You want me to try…balsamic vinegar…in a drink?

Nonetheless, most tried the shot glass of sparkling water infused with Sicilian Lemon, Watermelon or Honey Ginger balsamic. And the reactions were similar:

“Wow, that’s delicious. What is that again?”

That’s balsamic vinegar. And sparkling water. That’s it?” (Yes, that’s it.)

“OMG that is soooo good!”

“Oh I love that. I could do that. Add a little vodka…”

We like to showcase the versatility of our products, and white balsamic vinegars are delicious and useful well beyond traditional salads. Adding our light, refreshing balsamics to sparkling water and spirits is one way we highlight their use.

Several customers mentioned they had soda water machines at home but didn’t necessarily like the overly sweet syrups that were sold by the major brands. Fruity white balsamics are a great alternative—they add refreshing flavour but few calories—and the sugar is all-natural, not an additive. Simply add a teaspoon or two of your favourite white balsamic to your glass, and top with homemade soda.

And they certainly lighten up your summer cocktails.

“I recommend Sicilian Lemon for gin-based drinks,” BOO’s resident mixologist Catherine says. “The lemon and the botanicals from the gin marry well. I’d add 2 ounces of gin to a tall glass, some ice, sliced lemon and lime, two teaspoons of Sicilian Lemon, and top with soda water.”

Here’s a list of cocktail ideas, courtesy of BOO staff:

Vodka and soda – add Watermelon, Sicilian Lemon, Cranberry Pear, Honeybell Orange, Peach

Whiskey and soda – add Honey Ginger

Bloody Caesar – add Traditional Balsamic, Honey Pepper

Peach Bellini – add Peach, Passionfruit, Mango

Long Island Iced Tea – add Sicilian Lemon

Cosmopolitan – add Cranberry Pear

Bottom line? We think adding white and fruity balsamic vinegars to soda water is a refreshing way to celebrate summer AND drink responsibly while lowering your sugar intake and your calorie count!

To try any of our white or fruity balsamics, drop by our stores and ask for a sample. We’ll be happy to bring out the soda and help you choose your new favourite summer drink!

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