Drinking vinegars have been touted for their health benefits since forever. Italians swig balsamic to aid digestion after an indulgent feed, the Japanese imbibe vinegar in a multitude of flavors—shiso, millet, persimmon, pineapple, plum, and so forth.
Earlier this summer, our sister magazine Portland Monthly published an article by David Welch that describes a line of vinegars created by Pok Pok chef Andy Ricker. “These vinegars are…entirely distinct from cooking vinegars,” writes Welch. “They contain half the acidity of balsamic or red wine vinegar; they come flavored with fruit juices such as plum and pineapple; and they’re typically sweetened with honey or sugar.”
Ricker has bottled four flavors of vinegar—apple, tamarind, pomegranate, and honey—under the label SOM, and sells them by the bottle at his Portland restaurants.
And now they are being released to retail shops.[UPDATE: Ricker says the vinegars will be distributed by Provvista, and that the company has received inquiries from Seattle but there’s not word yet on where they’ll be sold.] To celebrate, House Spirits in Portland is throwing a party on Saturday, August 13 from 11:00am to 6:00pm. If you can get down there, do it: The party is free, open to the public over 21, and will feature cocktails that include Ricker’s vinegars plus House products Aviation Gin, Krogstad Aquavit, House Spirits White Dog Whiskey, and Gammal Krogstad, its barrel-aged version of Krogstad Aquavit.
If you’re not up for a jaunt south, you can order the vinegars online. Or, If you need to have a cocktail with vinegar this very evening, I suggest heading to Artusi for a Miller’s Crossing: Martin Miller’s gin, Amaro Montenegro, balsamic vinegar, and a touch of cassis. Plus you can check out the new food menu.