Back in the 1980s raspberry vinegar was A Thing. It seemed to get used with wild abandon, sometimes in dishes it shouldn’t have been allowed near. But fruit vinegars are lovely things to have in the store cupboard and they’re so easy to make.
They’re good in a salad dressing, with or without olive oil, but they give a fruity sweet and sour punch to sauces and, diluted with ice cold sparkling water, make a refreshing drink.
I had more blackberries than raspberries this autumn, so blackberry vinegar is what I’ve made, but you can use the recipe for either, or for redcurrants or strawberries when in season. I made a small amount – just scale up if you want more. Use unblemished fruit picked on a dry day.
300 ml cider vinegar
Granulated sugar (see below)
Put the blackberries in a bowl and crush lightly. Pour in the vinegar, cover and leave in the fridge for at least four days. I forgot mine and they had nearly a week’s steeping to no ill effect.
Strain through a jelly bag and leave it to drip overnight or at least for a few hours. Discard the fruit (unless you’re feeling thrifty and you want to try making a chutney or something).
Measure the resulting liquid and for every 100 ml, add 75g of sugar. Put the sugar and fruity vinegar in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has melted. Bring to a boil and simmer, bubbling, for 10 minutes. Skim off any scum.
Allow to cool before pouring into sterilised bottles and sealing. It will keep for up to 12 months.