Berry Vinegar Recipes

In case you missed it, I recently wrote a blog post called Berries Galore, in which I discussed various ways to cook and bake with berries. Among other things, I included directions on making berry-infused vinegar. Well, my red raspberry vinegar is complete, so here are some recipes!

Vinegar Infusion

 Infusing Red Raspberries in White Wine Vinegar

Infusing Red Raspberries in White Wine Vinegar

Due to its high acid content, vinegar functions as an amazing preservative. When infusing berries, it is recommended to use white wine vinegar for the flavor. However, apple cider vinegar will suffice as a budget version. To start, gently wash and dry your berries. Then sort through them and pick out any bad ones. You will need equal parts clean, dry berries to vinegar. Place the berries in a sterilized glass jar. If desired, gently mash the berries with a wooden spoon or fork. This will expedite the infusion process, but it's not really necessary. Then pour in the vinegar. Make sure that it completely covers the berries. Screw on the sterilized lid and store in a cool, dark place. Add a label with the contents of the jar and the date. Let sit two to four weeks, tasting periodically to test the flavor. When it's ready, strain into another sterilized glass jar and put a new label on it. Use in salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and cocktails. For best flavor, use within 6 to 12 months. 

*Note: if using a metal lid, make sure to put plastic wrap or wax paper between the lid and the jar. Otherwise the acid from the vinegar will corrode the metal.

 

Raspberry Ginger Vinaigrette

 Salad with Raspberry Ginger Vinaigrette

Salad with Raspberry Ginger Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup red raspberry-infused vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a glass jar, cover with lid, and shake.
  2. Adjust ingredients to taste. 
  3. If desired, let sit at room temperature for a couple hours to allow ginger to infuse.
  4. Use as salad dressing. Any remainder can be refrigerated.

*Notes: It should stay good in the fridge for several weeks. (I'm not sure because I always use it quickly!) It's normal for the olive oil to separate and solidify. Just take it out of the fridge and let sit at room temperature before using again. How quickly it liquefies will depend on how warm the room is.

*If using a metal lid, make sure to put plastic wrap or wax paper between the lid and the jar, or the acid from the vinegar will corrode the metal.

 

Shrubs

This word can evoke lots of things... but in this case I'm talking about the drink! Shrubs are mixed drinks made with a sweetened fruit-infused vinegar. This practice dates back to 17th century England, and was carried over to colonial America. They have made a resurgence in recent years among mixologists. Shrubs can be made with soda water, or added to cocktails. Typically the fruit-infused vinegar is first sweetened with sugar, but in my version I'm adding simple syrup to the drinks.

Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a basic ingredient for many cocktails. It is simply equal parts sugar and water that's mixed together, heated, and stirred until dissolved. Typically people use white sugar, but I actually prefer honey. Either one will work! Store any unused simple syrup in the fridge for up to one week.

Ginger-Infused Simple Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup simple syrup
  • 1 rounded Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger OR 2 rounded Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger (for extra-gingery version)

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients in non-reactive pot, such as stainless steal or glass. 
  2. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain the syrup into a glass jar. Store in fridge for up to one week.
 Rasberry Mint Shrub Drink

Rasberry Mint Shrub Drink

Raspberry Mint Shrub

This is a perfect summertime drink! Cool and refreshing with a nice tang, you'll keep coming back to it time and again!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raspberry-infused vinegar
  • 1 Tbl lime juice
  • 12 fl oz plain sparkling water

Directions

  1. Find a glass that can comfortably hold a pint of liquid, and loosely pack it halfway with fresh mint leaves.
  2. Pour simple syrup over the mint, and muddle with a wood or stone pestle.
  3. Stir in raspberry-infused vinegar and lime juice.
  4. Add sparkling water and stir until just mixed.
  5. If desired, add ice and garnish with mint leaves and lime.
 Raspberry Ginger Shrub

Raspberry Ginger Shrub

Raspberry Ginger Shrub

The ginger in this drink produces a pleasant warming feeling and a nice bite at the end! If you like more of a subtle ginger flavor, I recommend following the regular ginger-infused recipe. If you're a big ginger fan, definitely go for the extra!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ginger-infused simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raspberry-infused vinegar
  • 1 Tbl lemon juice
  • 12 fl oz plain sparkling water

Directions

  1. Find a glass that can comfortably hold a pint of liquid. Add simple syrup, raspberry-infused vinegar, and lemon juice. Stir until well mixed.
  2. Add sparkling water and stir until just mixed.
  3. If desired, add ice and garnish with lemon.

*Recipe note: to make these into "adult drinks," simply add a shot of hard liquor such as gin, tequila, or vodka after the simple syrup, raspberry-infused vinegar, and lemon/lime juice are mixed. Then add plain sparkling water minus the amount of hard liquor used (typically 1.5 fl oz.) Enjoy!

 

Experiment!

There are so many things that can be done with berry vinegar. What recipes can you come up with? I encourage you to try and comment below with your findings!