Food

2014: the year of the vinegar comeback

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We all love a sprinkle of Sarson’s on our fish and chips but there are more ways to indulge in the condiment than ever before

Illustrations: Emma Dibbens

The salt and vinegar martini

Just the name makes us suck in our cheeks, but this potato vodka, quince vinegar, liqueurs and elderflower cordial concoction, dreamed up by Eoin Kenny – bar manager at the Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Covent Garden – is actually crisp and delicious. Vinegar cocktails are already popular with New York hipsters and Japanese businessmen who laud the non-alcoholic versions for their ability to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, as well as having a positive effect on glucose levels. Mixologist Tony Conigliaro from London cocktail bar 69 Colebrooke Row is not surprised they’re starting to pop up here. “The flavour profiles of vinegars create a level of complexity that adds a unique depth to drinks and cuts through sugary ingredients, for a balanced flavour.”

The wine

Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store (grainstore.com) has livened up its wine list with a selection of Greco Roman herb-infused wine, one of which is vinegar-based. The surprisingly refreshing Rose Vinus Lupus, £6.50, is made with dried rose petals, gewurztraminer, clover honey and verjus: a vinegar made from unripe grape juice.

The gourmet bottle

Posh condiment makers Demijohn (found in Oxford, York, Edinburgh and Glasgow) have an array of artisan fruit vinegars, all served 'on tap'. Replace your old school balsamic and cider with sweet and tasty elderflower, gooseberry or bramble varieties, which can all be made into drinks, poured over salads or ice cream and added to casseroles (demijohn.co.uk).

The sweets

Those who regularly slather their strawberries with balsamic vinegar will vouch for the pairing’s brilliance. But artisanal gelato kings La Gelatiera (lagelatiera.co.uk) in London’s Covent Garden have taken it a step further by introducing their Aceto Balsamico flavour, made with caramelised aged Modena balsamic vinegar. Sweet tooths should also keep an eye on chocolatier Paul A Young, who is soon to introduce a salt and vinegar truffle made with a crunchy potato crisp coating (paulayoung.co.uk).

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