courtesy of Sherri Brooks Vinton
You want to use a light or neutrally flavored vinegar that won’t overpower your flavoring agent—distilled white or apple cider vinegar make nice blank slates. Berries and herbs are popular and make versatile vinegars but don’t stop there—try peach, pear, chili, plum and more.
1 quart glass jar with lid
1-2 cups berries or chopped fruit,
3-4 sprigs fresh herbs or a combination
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon whole dried spices (optional)
1 pint vinegar (preferably distilled white or cider)
Sterilize the jar by submerging it in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Add flavorings. Bring vinegar just to a boil and pour into jar. Cover jar with a piece of waxed or parchment paper to prevent lid corrosion.
Screw on lid. Give the jar a good shake and set it in a cool, dark place for at least a few days and up to one week, shaking daily.
Strain vinegar through a fine mesh sieve. Return vinegar to the cleaned, re-sterilized jar or other decorative food-grade bottle.
Vinegar keeps in a cool, dark place for 3-4 months or refrigerate for 6-8 months.
A tasty, refreshing way to enjoy your infused vinegars.
1 cup infused vinegar
1/2-1 cup sugar
In a small saucepan warm vinegar and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add two tablespoons of syrup to a tall glass filled with ice and top with seltzer. (Makes 8 drinks.)
Editor’s note: Infusions also add delicious flavor to spirits, allowing you to claim a little corner of the craft cocktail movement for your very own.