McClary Bros. The Drinking Vinegar Sampler Gift Box
Cocktail vinegars, or shrubs, emphasize bright fruit flavours without adding a whole whack of sweetness. This adds depth and complexity to cocktails and takes your mixology up a notch. McClary Bros. is an American company making drinking vinegars specifically for this purpose – to elevate our beverages (alcoholic or not) to new heights.
I found out about McClary Bros. from a rerun of Shark Tank; I watched them pitch what some may think is an odd product (Vinegars? To Drink?) and knew that I had to try it. I got my hands on their 3-bottle set, which included Michigan Apple Pie, Detroit Fig Leaf (no longer available) and Michigan Beet & Carrot.
The cut, retro bottles reminded me of Little House on the Prairie. They look like something you would find in an old timey general store or apothecary. Definitely a visual that makes you want to pick it up and read the label.
Taste-wise, the vinegars were great. Mixed each up with some warm water for a hot-toddy-type beverage. The Apple Pie was my favourite – it was sweet and tangy with minimal vinegary aftertaste. It mixed well with ginger ale as well, for a cold drink. In cocktails, each vinegar added its own note, giving gin, vodka and even hard cider a new kick. (You can see cocktail recipe suggestions on their website).
McClary Bros. find all of their fruits, vegetables and herbs from their local farmers in the Detroit area and throughout the Great Lakes. The base is an organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar; flavours are added with seasonal ingredients and organic cane sugar. They give back to the community as well, supporting the local non-profit that helps their local growers.
They currently only sell and ship to the States, though I personally hope they break into the Canadian market at some point in the future.
McClary Bros. The Drinking Vinegar Sampler Gift Box / $15*
*Only available in the US.