Fourth of July

Raspberry Acetosa Mojito

July  2, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I found this curious and rather vaguely described recipe for "Raspberry Acetosa" in Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well (1891). It’s an unusual recipe based on a framboise or raspberry syrup base but instead of the addition of citric acid, a dash of very good red wine vinegar is added. I say it’s vaguely described because, in his typical manner, Artusi has forgotten to give doses for the fruit in proportion to sugar and water. That, and his instructions for adding vinegar are based along the lines of “taste it and see,” which is part of what I love about this quirky historical cookbook author.

So, this is my interpretation of Artusi’s Acetosa (I ended up going with equal amounts of fruit to sugar). It is a refreshing syrup, and that little kick of vinegar makes it the perfect base for unique summer cocktails or drizzled over ice cream or crepes. Really, the options are endless.

For this recipe, I chose to go with a version of a mojito. I have to credit my husband, Marco, for the cocktail idea, he has worked as a barman in some of Florence’s best bars (such as the Four Seasons) and is my cocktail guru!

Note: in the recipe below, I have accounted for enough Acetosa to make the following drinks. It can easily be doubled or tripled to make a larger supply so you can use it anything and everything.
- Emiko —Emiko

Test Kitchen Notes

We love any drink you make the right in the glass (though we admit we used a mortar and pestle because we were serving it in delicate tumblers). Emiko's elegant cocktail brings a pleasant sting from the red wine vinegar, which is a perfect match for the sweet raspberries and keeps the syrup (acetosa) from being cloying. Fresh whole lemon pieces, plenty of rum, a splash of soda and a pretty basil leaf are the finishing touches to this refreshing summer drink. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the Acetosa
  • 2 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 2 ounces white sugar
  • 2 ounces water
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • For the Raspberry Acetosa Mojito
  • The above quantity of Acetosa
  • 4 glassfuls of ice
  • 1 large lemon, chopped into pieces
  • 4 tablespoons of cane (raw) sugar
  • 8 ounces white rum
  • soda water
  • 24 fresh basil leaves
  • A handful of raspberries for garnish
  1. For the Acetosa, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil (stir until the sugar has dissolved). Let the syrup simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes, until thickened but not caramelized.
  2. In the meantime, squeeze the raspberries through a fine sieve to separate the seeds from the pulp and juice. Discard the seeds and place the juice/pulp in a bowl and set aside. When the syrup has boiled, add directly into the bowl with the raspberries along with the vinegar. You may want to first just add 1 tablespoon, taste, then adjust to your taste. I found 2 tablespoons to be pleasantly acidic while not being overpowering. Set aside and allow to cool. If you make this in larger quantities you can keep this bottled and stored in the fridge for quite some time.
  3. For the mojito, in each glass (a tumbler is the classic glass to use), pound 1 tablespoon of sugar together with ¼ of the lemon and a little splash of soda water to loosen. Fill the tumblers with ice. Add the rum, the raspberry acetosa and fill the rest of the glass with soda water, stopping when you reach ½ inch from the top. Stir carefully with a spoon from the bottom of the glass to the top. Garnish with the basil and a handful of fresh raspberries.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • edamame2003
  • Maria Teresa Jorge
    Maria Teresa Jorge
  • gingerroot
  • Emiko
  • hardlikearmour

27 Reviews

edamame2003 July 23, 2011
congrats on being a finalist. what a beautiful drink. vinegar...i like that.
Emiko July 26, 2011
Thanks edamame!
NanP July 22, 2011
I'm really looking forward to trying this! It's far from ordinary, but still accessible. I'll bet it smells and tastes as great as it looks.
Emiko July 26, 2011
Thanks NanP! It's so easy to make too, let me know how it goes!
Maria T. July 22, 2011
Emiko, I just saw your profile and was curious to see your blog. Beautiful photography, amazing good taste and recipes. It made me home sick. All the best.
Emiko July 22, 2011
Wow, thank you so much! :)
Maria T. July 22, 2011
Congratulations on being a finalist. Amazing, would never have thought of using vinegar in a drink! This rocks!
gingerroot July 22, 2011
Congrats, Emiko! So happy this is a finalist.
Emiko July 21, 2011
Thank you everyone for all the lovely comments! :)
hardlikearmour July 21, 2011
Congrats, Emiko! I'm a fan of drinking vinegar & bet this drink is fabulous.
fiveandspice July 21, 2011
Yay! I am so glad this is a finalist!!! I'm so excited about this drink. Congrats Emiko!
Emiko July 21, 2011
oh thanks! me too! :)
eatlovedrink July 21, 2011
The drink looks wonderful...but what a great intro! Hadn't heard of Artusi's book before (though, something tells me I shouldn't admit that so publicly! I can see now that it's quite famous). Really looking forward to checking it out.
Emiko July 21, 2011
Thanks! Artusi's book is a little treasure trove, i hope you get to check it out. I actually carry a copy in my bag with me! It's not just recipes either, but a very entertaining read!
Midge July 21, 2011
What a lovely drink. Congrats Emiko!
cheese1227 July 21, 2011
Hmm, I had my first Blackberry Shrub yesterday and I was told that vinegar is what makes a shrub a shrub. I loved that refreshing combination and can only think it would be enhanced by rum and swapping out mint for basil looks fabulous!
cheese1227 July 21, 2011
Hmm, I had my first Blackberry Shrub yesterday and I was told that vinegar is what makes a shrub a shrub. I loved that refreshing combination and can only think it would be enhanced by rum and swapping out mint for basil looks fabulous!
Emiko July 21, 2011
Ooh, blackberry sounds nice too!
Kitchen B. July 21, 2011
Congratulations....Emiko, well done.
EmilyC July 21, 2011
Congrats on being a finalist -- what a beautiful drink!
Waverly July 15, 2011
What a great combination - gorgeous Food52 photo too.
fiveandspice July 14, 2011
This sounds so good! I love vinegar-y drinks. This is going on my must try list!
wssmom July 9, 2011
This is fascinating!
This L. July 8, 2011
Looks so refreshing! Must get me some more raspberries!
nogaga July 3, 2011
That looks delicious! I think I want it for tomorrow's breakfast.
gingerroot July 2, 2011
I recently made a wonderfully delicious and refreshing mint punch (thanks to pauljoseph) that called for vinegar in the simple syrup. This looks gorgeous and I bet it is a lovely cocktail.
Emiko July 7, 2011
ooh, that sounds delicious! I love the mint and vinegar combination. In fact, I was torn between using mint or basil for this drink too....