Fruit vinegars make fantastic Christmas or birthday gifts as well as the basis of a great salad dressing. (They also make the perfect dinner party ‘thank you’ instead of that cheap bottle of plonk you are looking to offload…)
The principle is simple and the fun comes from experimenting with different fruits and proportions to claim a recipe as your own. We love making raspberry vinegar but almost any soft fruit will work just as well, with strawberry being my mum’s favourite.
Raspberry vinegar recipe
Makes around 1lt of fruit vinegar
- 1kg raspberries
- 750ml white wine vinegar
- 500g granulated white sugar
1. Crush the raspberries in a large plastic or glass bowl and add the white wine vinegar.
2. Cover and leave to steep for 5 days in the fridge.
3. Strain through a sterilized muslin square or a jelly bag overnight. Don’t squeeze it, just let it seep through naturally.
4. Add the sugar to the flavoured vinegar and warm gently over a low heat. Stir regularly to encourage the sugar to dissolve.
5. Boil for five minutes and then pour into sterilized bottles when it is cool enough to handle.
6. It will keep for at least a year in a sealed bottle, although I keep them in the fridge after opening them.
Visit our preserves section for more ways to preserve produce
Other fruit vinegars
Any soft fruit can be used instead of raspberries, including blackberries, strawberries, and plums.
You can also use fresh herbs; you will need to let them steep in the cider vinegar for a month or so in a sealed Tupperware container to let the vinegar slowly absorb the flavour over a longer period. I tend to allow 3-4 large sprigs of fresh herbs per 500ml of vinegar, but more will give a stronger flavour if that’s what you prefer. You can also add the sugar first, and then bottle the vinegar with the herbs which then looks as good as it tastes.
All of these recipes will work just as well if you add the sugar a bit at a time if you prefer a sharper or sweeter taste to the finished product.
Basic raspberry vinaigrette recipe
You can use the raspberry flavoured vinegar in basic raspberry vinaigrette, or any variation with one of the other flavoured vinegars.
- Three parts mild olive oil
- One part flavoured vinegar
- Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
Just throw all the ingredients into a jar, screw the lid on and shake together to form an emulsion.
Visit our salad section for delicious salad recipes and ideas