Raspberry Vinegar - Summer in a bottle


As the end of summer is approaching I feel the urge to start preserving things for the winter months to come.
I made Cherry brandy to enjoy at the christmas holidays and next week the damsons are going into the copper kettle to become a gooey jam to use in pies.
This is how I hang on to those months when we had plenty of light and warmth from the sun, colorful delicate fruits at the market and fresh strawberries on our bread.
Summer in a bottle or a jar.
When autumn has deprived us of the last of the warm days, I will make a salad with perhaps some quail and walnuts, this raspberry vinegar will be used to drizzle the green leaves with a radiant red color. Like blood it will be dripping on my plate and I will remember the summers day when I bought the raspberries at a farmshop in Kent and the lunch we had after we strolled trough the little village by the sea. The Cider vinegar came from a road trip to the Cheddar gorge on my parents 35th anniversary and is the tastiest I've ever found. Memories are stored in this bottle if you like, if you are as romantic about it as me. 




This recipe for Raspberry vinegar is fuss free and takes minutes to make, you only need to let the vinegar rest for 4-6 days before you strain and bottle it.
I used Isabella Beeton's 1860's recipe as a guide and amended where needed. As she uses a lot of sugar in hers, I didn't in mine and I find the vinegar doesn't need it.


Raspberries are a rich source of vitamin C, B, iron and magnesium. Up to 20 percent of their total weight is made up of fiber and they are also high in antioxidants. The leaves of the raspberry plant have been used for medicinal purposes for generations.




What do you need
To make 1 bottle as shown in the picture:
100g of raspberries or leftover raspberry pulp.
25 cl of good quality cider vinegar
a strainer
a funnel
a ceramic bowl

Method
Rinse the raspberries
Place the raspberries in a ceramic bowl
Crush the fruit with a fork
Add the Cider Vinegar until your bowl is completely full
Cover the bowl with cling film
Leave in a cool dark place for 4-6 days

After 3 days
Strain the vinegar and discard the pulp
Transfer the vinegar to the bottle(s) using a funnel

Leave for a month in a cool dark place, it will be autumn by then.
The vinegar will keep for at least six months.

Lovely with salad with quail, goats cheese and also with ice-cream. But I like a little spoonful from time to time… Some claim it is good to cure a cold.


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Make your own cherry brandy
Make your own butter