Past weekend, TikTok was packed with video clips of sunshine-y influencers pouring balsamic vinegar into glasses of fruit-flavored glowing water right up until the concoction began to seem vaguely inky. This, they stated, was a “healthier Coke.” 

I tend to be skeptical about the way in which culture at large — and a specific ilk of women’s publications, in distinct — try to rebrand entirely typical components as substitutes for dishes deemed way too decadent i.e. calling uncooked, crispy items of lettuce “lettuce chips” or declaring that an apple topped with almond butter and miniature chocolate chips is a “fruit cupcake.” 

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The range of folks smiling with their eyeglasses of glowing balsamic vinegar, however, appeared to be an indication that the concoction was very good, refreshing even. That is not the situation. 

Now, to be crystal clear, I like cocktails with a vinegary twist. I in fact have two shrubs — a peach-rosemary and a mixed berry mix — prepping in my kitchen area suitable now. I can’t wait to pour them more than ice with a small bourbon or gin, respectively. Heck, I even like a splash of apple cider vinegar in my early morning glass of ice water just to wake up the ol’ style buds. 

But in buy to get this “healthier Coke” to appear remotely like the films on TikTok, you are unable to just spike your glowing water with a dash or two of vinegar. It took much more like 6 tablespoons, which left me thinking, “I am drinking vinegar, and want that I was ingesting a soda.” 

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That wasn’t enjoyable. 

What is gratifying, nonetheless, is a cocktail or mocktail that will take the concept of a fresher, cooler Coke and executes it in a way that is basically drinkable. In this scenario, which is a gin spritz with a balsamic-cherry shrub.

A shrub is essentially a ingesting vinegar, made by combining fruit, sweetener and vinegar to produce a “syrup” that can be utilised to flavor cocktails. It has a genuinely desirable sweet-bitter, practically candy-like (you know, costly fruit sweet) flavor to it that is ideal when blended with effervescent soda water and a refreshing gin. 


Recipe: Gin Spritz with Balsamic-Cherry Shrub

Prep Time

45 minutes, additionally chilling 


For the shrub:

For the cocktail: 

  • 4 ounces gin (See Cook’s Notes)
  • 2 ounces cherry shrub
  • Splash soda drinking water
  • Cherries for garnish 


  1. In a modest saucepan, increase the cherries, balsamic vinegar and white sugar — as perfectly as plenty of h2o to protect the overall combination. Carry the combination to a boil, then cut down to a regular simmer for 10 minutes. Clear away the mixture from the warmth, place it in a sealable jar or container and let it to sit in the refrigerator for at the very least 30 minutes. 
  2. Pressure the cherries from the combination and reserve the ensuing shrub in a sealable jar. It will keep for about 2 months. 
  3. To make the cocktail by itself, combine 4 ounces of gin and the cherry shrub over ice — use crushed pellet ice if you would like more of a slushie outcome — right before splashing with soda water. Garnish with an added cherry or two. 


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