These are notes from the Tales of the Cocktail seminar "Vinegar : The Other Acid). Forgive the formatting and spelling- I'm typing this on my phone as I managed to lose my laptop power cord.
Three other acids used is cocktails include citric (citrus), tartaric (unripe fruit), and malic (apples and grapes).
Lime has the most acid of the citric group.
Vinegar is a double fermented liquid. Base to alcohol, the alcohol to acetic acid.
Balsamic is more acidic on the palate than white wine vinegar, yet they smell the opposite.
They tried to correlate perception of sourness/acidity with pH but couldn't find any correlation.
Intensity of sourness seems to depend on how the acid reacts in a solution. Approximately 1/3 the amount of something citric is a good starting point for vinegar amount. For one ounce of lime juice start with about 1/3 oz of vinegar.
Vinegar drinks in history:
Oxymel - honey, vinegar, and water comes from 460BC Greece
Pliny the Elder in Roman era mentioned Posca: vinegar honey water and coriander seed. 50AD
Shrubs. (The new black.)
Switchel- water molasses apple cider vinegar ginger , often mixed with rum in early America
Vinegar Today: Ashley Greene does not consider it a vinegar cocktail, as much as she may enjoy it. Same goes for a dirty martini or a Gibson.
"Vinegar can be a nostalgic reference point in a drink" Ashley Greene
Gastriques- a reduction of vinegar fruit and sugar. Originally made as a sauce. Shrub is more an uncooked item, gastrique often more caramelized.
Tinctures- can use vinegar instead of alcohol to act as solvent to suck up flavors. Just three drops of a fennel vinegar tincture in a Manhattan can brighten up the drink and add a touch if acid. Same with a Martini. Cacao bean/balsamic and fennel/white wine vinegar they tried. To make them, use a lot of the flavoring agent and shake daily.