How to make a berry vinegar? [topic digression moved from General Topics board]
Have you ever made a berry vinegar? I would love to know how.
Yes, I have made some flavored vinegars, some more successfully than others. For the best raspberry, I cheated and used a frozen juice concentrate. It was fabulous - better than when I used my own berries. The strawberry was so-so but probably because the berries were not intensely flavored enough to make a WOW statement. I was underwhelmed with both the tarragon and garlic vinegar. Preferred the plain.
NB: with all flavored vinegars, I took the safe path and made small quantities and kept them in the refrigerator. I wasn't afraid of dying but figured they would not hold their flavor as well as commercially prepared bottles. It is easy to make more when needed.
Michael Chiarello of Food Network has a book on flavored oils and vinegars (I found it for a dollar in a thriftstore). You take white vinegar or rice wine vinegar and your fruit - simmer for 2 minutes, cool and refrigerate. That's my take on it anyhow.
There couldn't be anything simpler. I make raspberry vinegar with our homemade red wine vinegar. Just put a couple cups of raspberries in a quart jar, cover with good vinegar, put the lid on and let sit for a month or two. I don't bother to strain out the berries later but I would if bottling it for gifts.
Another favorite flavored vinegar to make is dried apricots in white wine vinegar. Again, just cover and soak.