After the Preserves | Fruit and Herb Vinegars

I’ve got three different bottles of fruit and herbs steeping in vinegar in the dark recesses of my basement spice shelves.  Birthed out of a craving for something savory out of all the pounds and pounds of fruit Cherub and I have been picking with friends lately.  I’ve made cobblers, pies, and grunts.  I’ve made syrups, jams and jellies (albeit almost accidentally, but that’s another post).  What to do with the dregs from the blueberry syrup?  The excess from 20 pounds of cherries?  Toss them in vinegar along with some herbs.  Let it steep for a few weeks in a dark spot, shaking the jars every once in a while when you walk by.  It’s as easy as that, and the flavors are only limited by your imagination.  And honestly, can you think of a nicer hostess gift?  Just strain into a vintage bottle, and cork.  Present with a handwritten tag noting the contents or perhaps a recipe for a simple vinaigrette.  You’re most certain to be invited back.

From left to right: Blueberry Tarragon, Cherry Shiso, and Cherry Balsamic

A few guidelines: for deepest flavor use almost equal parts fruit and herbs to vinegar.  You could even briefly heat the vinegar along with the fruit and herbs before emptying into a sterile jar.  Strain after two to four weeks and discard the solids.

Re-bottle in something pretty and sculptural if you’re giving as a gift.  Although ball jars are charming in and of themselves.

Store in a dark place to preserve the flavors as long as possible.  In the refrigerator, the flavors should last six to eight months, if you store your vinegar on a dark shelf, only three to four.

And of course, use common sense, selecting only the best fruits and herbs (organic or homegrown) which have been scrupulously cleaned, along with all of your jars and lids.

Playlist included the most adorable French song I’ve heard in a while: Ca Depend Des Moments by Claire Keim.

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3 Responses to “After the Preserves | Fruit and Herb Vinegars”

  1. What a wonderful post! So often we get caught up in the canning, freezing and dehydrating process each year that some of the simpler methods or even experimenting seems to elude us, and it is not until it is too late or during the dead of winter that we see something like this and think Wow why didn’t I think of that.!

    For me so often I see it and think I will remember to do that (yeah right, never happens) unless I write it down and put it on the refrigerator or inside one of my cabinet doors that I store canning stuff in I hang up ideas like this, so when the pressure canner is blaring away, I will stand in the kitchen and read these things on the canning door.

    Again love the post and the pictures! Love your blog as well!!
    Mitchell

  2. You are so kind, Mitchell. Thanks for stopping in and sharing what is a very familiar feeling for me in the kitchen: wait, summer, wait! I wasn’t done with everything yet! Good luck to you, getting all those lovely kitchen and canning tasks done in good time to enjoy during the darkest days. Cheers!

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