Raspberry Vinegar

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield servings
  • Prep 15 mins
  • Cook 0 mins

Use fruit vinegars like you would any flavorful vinegar, or as a flavoring for sparkling water.

Though this flavorful vinegar can be used as we use raspberry vinegar today, in Thomas Jefferson's day its primary use was as a surprisingly delicious beverage. Remember that those were pre-soft drink days. Flavored vinegars, sweetened and cut with chilled water, were a popular and refreshingly tingly (but not in the least sour) summer drink.

Ingredients

1 pound (4 cups) fresh or frozen raspberries
2 cups red wine vinegar
1 cup Simple Syrup (optional)
Simple Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Instructions

  1. If using fresh berries, rinse and drain them well. Put them in a stainless steel or glass bowl and lightly crush them. If using frozen berries, put them in while still frozen. Crushing is unnecessary. Stir in the vinegar, cover with cheesecloth or wire mesh (a large mesh colander or frying splatter screen would be ideal), and let stand 48 hours.
  2. Strain the vinegar through a wire strainer (lined with cheesecloth if the mesh is not fine enough to catch all the solids). The vinegar can be bottled, sealed, and used as is, both as a base for beverages and as a condiment. To use it as a beverage, allow 2 to 3 tablespoons per 8 ounces of ice water and sweeten to taste.
  3. To make raspberry vinegar syrup for use as a beverage, mix the vinegar with Simple Syrup (recipe follows). Allow 2 to 4 tablespoons (to taste) per 8 ounces of ice water.

Simple Syrup: Stir sugar and water together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until it is reduced to the consistency of honey (230 degrees on a candy thermometer), about 1 cup. Take it from the heat and cool it before using.

Makes about 2 ½ cups for use as vinegar, or 3 ½ cups for use as beverage syrup.

Recipe from Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance, edited by Damon Lee Fowler and published by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., 2005. Distributed by the University of North Carolina Press.

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