Enjoy a “Vinegar Cocktail” instead of alcohol on special occasions

a glass with ice and red, juce cocktail with straw and an orange slice

Aronia Berry Vinegar Cocktail

Enjoy a “Vinegar Cocktail” instead of alcohol on special occasions:

Yes, it sounds kind of funny, but hear me out. Vinegar cocktails are also called “shrubs” and they’ve been around for more than a hundred years, though not very common. They have fewer calories than regular cocktails and contain healthful probiotics, an added bonus. My favorite method is to make them with fruit juice, raw honey, raw apple cider vinegar, and sparkling water.

FRUIT JUICE VINEGAR COCKTAIL (also called a SHRUB)

Start by making your vinegar-fruit juice base:

1 cup fruit juice (choose your favorite; I used Aonia berry (chokeberry) for this picture)
1/3 cup raw honey (more or less, depending on the juice and your taste)
1 cup organic, raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar

Lightly warm the fruit juice on the stove (about the same temperature as a baby’s bottle), stirring in the honey until it is completely dissolved. Cool completely before adding vinegar (you don’t want to kill the probiotics). Store in your refrigerator in a covered jar.

When ready to make your drink, combine 1 part shrub mixture with 3 or 4 parts sparkling water, and pour over ice. Garnish with fresh fruit (a slice of orange, or a strawberry slit and perched on the edge of the glass looks nice).

If you look online, you will find dozens of variations using different ingredients, and many that include wine and/or alcohol. I don’t add alcohol to mine, it defeats the purpose of having a refreshing, festive, healthy, probiotic, energy drink. The origins of these concoctions date back to the Colonial era.

Want more? Click here for some homemade energy drink recipes.

Chokeberries: superfood said to promote weight loss

Nadia Giordana picking chokeberries

Black chokeberries are composed of significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phyto-chemicals called anthocyanins. These flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants have proven health benefits through scavenging dangerous oxygen free radicals from the body. Total anthocyanin content in the choke berries is 1480 mg per 100 g of fresh berries, and proanthocyanidin concentration is 664 mg per 100 g (Wu et al. 2004, 2006). Scientific studies have shown that consumption of berries on regular basis offers potential health benefits against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections. (- By Dr. Paul Gross, 2007-07-09).

Note: All this and more, I learned about chokeberries after my mother asked me and my sister Bev to take her berry picking. She had her eyes on some great berry-laden bushes near where she lives. We picked 20 gallons of the plump fruits, and barely made a dent in the available harvest. We left the rest for the birds, and anyone else who might come along. Now that I know what a fantastic food this is, I will work it into my diet regularly. Hence, I’m off in search of recipes and serving ideas.