Margaret Diekmann of Baltimore recently asked us to find her some flavored vinegar recipes. This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
Raspberry Wine Vinegar
2 cups fresh raspberries or two 10-ounce packages frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
4 cups cider vinegar
2 cups dry red wine
Rinse fresh raspberries with cold water and drain well. In a large bowl combine raspberries, cider vinegar and wine. Cover and let stand overnight. In a stainless steel or enamel saucepan, heat vinegar mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Boil, uncovered, for three minutes. Cool.
Strain mixture, discarding solids. Pour into bottles; cover tightly. Let vinegar age for two to four weeks before using. Store in a cool, dark place. Makes six cups.
To make flavored vinegars, start with a base of cider, distilled or wine vinegar. Your choice of a base depends on how you plan to flavor your vinegar. Wine vinegars are a good match for herbs and spices. Cider vinegar can also complement spices. Fruits and edible flowers go well with distilled vinegar.
Flavored vinegars can be prepared in two ways: For the quickest method, heat the vinegar in a stainless steel or enamel pan until hot, but not boiling. (Do not use aluminum as it could react with the vinegar.) Pour the hot vinegar over the herb, seed, fruit, or spice and cover with cheesecloth. Let it stand in a warm, dark place for one to two weeks to mellow the flavor. Then filter the vinegar through several layers of cheesecloth and pour it into bottles.
For the second method, pour the vinegar directly over the flavoring ingredients and let the mixture stand for a month before filtering.
The three most common vinegars are distilled, cider and wine.
* Distilled or white vinegar is a colorless vinegar made from grains. The distilling process removes any flavor and leaves only an acidic taste.
* Cider vinegar, made from apples, is a golden-brown vinegar with a slightly fruity flavor.
* For wine vinegars, the color and flavor of the vinegar depend on the type of wine used. White wine produces a lighter-tasting vinegar than does red wine.
When sampling vinegar, trust your taste buds. If the flavor of the herb or fruit is too strong, add some plain vinegar. If the flavor is too weak, add more seasoning. Once you've tried a variety of vinegars, try combining flavors. Mix two or three ingredients, such as raspberry and mint, lemon and garlic, or peaches and cloves.
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