V&T, or Vinegar & Tonic, 5p. It’s Dry January everyone!

Vinegar and Tonic by Jack Monroe. January 2015.

Vinegar and Tonic by Jack Monroe. January 2015.

Hello and welcome to the new year, everyone!

As a new year has rolled in, one of my resolutions was to try to be a little healthier – starting with Dry January, or no booze for a month! Seeing we spent the new year on a very pretty holiday exploring Up North and the Lake District, my Dry Jan didn’t start until yesterday. That also means no booze in cooking for me for 30 days too, so maybe holding off the casseroles and risottos for a bit – waa!

One of my favourite restaurants in London to grab a spot of lunch at, take friends, or have meetings these days is Duck Soup in Soho, on Dean Street. Their sister restaurant, RawDuck, in Hoxton, has a VERY interesting drinks menu comprising ‘vinegar sodas’. I remembered this this morning, casting around for something interesting to drink and landing on the vinegar shelf in the kitchen (my Mrs is a chef, what can I say, our vinegar collection is frankly ridiculous. Yours needn’t be quite so frivolous, a simple red or cider will do most jobs for you.)

Anyway, eyes landed on the vinegar shelf, vague memory of RawDuck bonkers drinks enu came back to me, and remembering how PACKED the place was when I popped my head in, I figured they were onto a good thing. Various friends tell me that it’s good for digestion, glowing skin, all round gut health – (don’t we all hear a bit too much about our ‘gut health’ this time of year? Sorry to come over all Gillian McKeith on you…) – and so I gave it a go. And really, really liked it. So here’s a brief not-really-a-recipe recipe if I’ve just about talked you into trying it…

10ml (2 tsp) cider vinegar or red wine vinegar, 2p*
300ml soda water, 3p*

First measure your vinegar into a glass – I like a nice tall one, but any will do. Add a little ice, if liked, and top up with sparkling water. And that’s it! You can vary your vinegars if you like, our abundant shelf of exotic and wonderful vinegars includes a damson vinegar from the Lake District and a Georgia Peach and White Balsamic from Los Angeles – but start with a cider, a white, or a red if you’re on a budget, or go mad in the vinegar aisle if you’re not…

Later in the day we tried it with tonic water instead of soda water, which gives it a bit more of an edge, but also a happy replacement for a gin and tonic… “Fancy a V&T, love?”

*At the time of writing this blog post and getting to the bottom of my glass, Sainsburys cider vinegar was £1.15/500ml, their Basics sparkling water was 20p/2l. Similar products are available at other supermarkets for similar prices, you might even find them cheaper – comment below and let me and my lovely readers know if you do, we all love a bargain! Prices are sadly subject to change and beyond my control, you can check on for the prices, today, where you shop. Neither Sainsburys nor MySupermarket asked me to write this, just, credit where credit’s due makes the world a better place. And so ends the long disclaimer-type-thing.

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