Mixologists have yet to discover that the sweet-and-sour tones of traditional balsamic make the vinegar an ideal cocktail ingredient. For years, I have been mixing extra vecchio with tap water, gin, and everything in between. This recipe is a good starter cocktail. Once you get the taste of what traditional balsamic can do as a mixer, spin your imagination into trial and success. When it comes to traditional balsamic, there is no error. I prefer a twenty-five-year-plus vinegar for this cocktail, but a younger traditional balsamic will work. Choose strawberries that are barely on the ripe side of rotten; their sweetness is a suited mate to balsamic.
You can also carry this drink through the seasons. Make it winter festive with pomegranate seeds, opt for pear in fall, and use cherries in spring.
Prosecco Cocktail with Balsamic Vinegar and Strawberries
overripe small strawberries or 4 larger berries
- 2 tablespoons traditional balsamic vinegar
750 ml bottlechilled Prosecco
- Wash the strawberries without hulling them. If using large berries, halve them.
- Line up four champagne flutes. Pour the vinegar to a depth 1⁄8 inch / 3 mm—about 3⁄4 teaspoon—into the bottom of each glass. Add a spoon of Prosecco and mix gently to temper the viscosity of the balsamic, allowing the vinegar to disperse more evenly.
- Slowly slide in more Prosecco from the side of each flute, filling to within about 1 inch / 2.5 cm of the rim.
- Gently squeeze the strawberries between your fingers to bruise them slightly and release some sugary juice. Drop a strawberry into each flute.
- Serve the cocktails while still cold and refill when the time comes.
Italy by Ingredient by Viola Buitoni. (Rizzoli New York. September 5,2023) Photography by Molly DeCoudreaux