Raspberry - Blackberry Infused Fruit Vinegar
Richer than Rubies?
Some years ago, when I lived in University City near Penn, I used to go to a small gourmet shop called “A Movable Feast.” It was there that I discovered the exquisite visual and culinary qualities of deep, ruby-colored raspberry vinegar. Not only did it look like a liquid jewel in its’ faceted, stoppered bottle, it had a wonderful piquancy and lightness that elevated a common “two parts oil, one part acid” vinegarette to hitherto unknown heights and depths of deliciousness! I particularly loved it in a simple vinegarette on a roughly torn radicchio, romaine and rocket salad with roasted sliced red beets, crumbled goat’s cheese and a few glittering shards of chopped caramelized walnut pieces on top! Ah, what bliss!
Savory and Sophisticated Berry Infusions
Last summer, after I finished drying, freezing and canning our bounty of assorted berries, I tried my hand at making raspberry vinegar myself. I used an old, family fruit vinegar recipe and adapted it to suit my taste and the variable level of sweetness of the raspberries from different bushes in our patch.
This year, the blackberries are so prolific that I thought I’d make an infused fruit vinegar that used both blackberries and raspberries. The results were stunning—it has the same complex sweetness and tartness of the raspberry-infused vinegar, but in addition to that, it has a greater “roundness” and depth of flavor. Its’ color is the mysterious purple hue of a big-hearted, red wine— and it immediately makes me think what a wonderful base it would make as the acid in marinade for grilled red meats—like flank steak or kabobs, or in deglazing.
Seize this berry moment and extend your use of berries from the merely sweet to the savory and sophisticated with this blackberry-raspberry vinegar!
- 2 lb. raspberries and blackberries, mixed half and half
- 24 oz. white wine vinegar
- 8 oz. sugar, or more to taste
- 1 Tablspoon salt
- Submerge the berries in salted water to draw out any bugs. Let stand 15 min. Lift berries out of salted water and rinse. Fill 2 quart canning jars with the berries. Cover with vinegar (about 12 oz. per jar) and crush the berries with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Screw on lids and place on a kitchen counter and leave for 7 days, occasionally shaking the contents of the jars.
- After a week, strain berry / vinegar infusion through a very fine metal sieve, muslin or jelly bag, making sure to press as much juice from the remaining mashed berries as possible.
- Pour the vinegar/berry liquid into a saucepan and add 8 oz. of sugar (or more to taste.)
- Heat gently, stirring the sugar until it's dissolved.
- Simmer the liquid for 10 minutes, then pour into hot, sterilized glass jars or stoppered bottles. Seal and store in a dark, cool place or refrigerator for up to a year.