How to Preserve Herbs, Vegetables and Fruit in Vinegars as Holiday Gifts

How to Preserve Herbs, Vegetables and Fruit in Vinegars as Holiday Gifts

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[Music] Making your own homemade vinegars is a
great way of locking in the flavors of herbs and other homegrown produce. They’re brilliant at livening at mealtimes,
and will add a little pizzazz to your cooking. Best of all they make beautiful homemade gifts for the holiday season. Want to make one? Then let’s find out how. First, a safety announcement. You do need to be careful when bottling or canning produce that you’re not tripping nasty bacteria. Preserving in vinegars, rather than oil, helps to keep the contents acidic but to avoid problems it is still necessary
to thoroughly sterilize bottles before use. Clean them in hot soapy water then rinse them. Don’t dry them with a dish towel – instead,
place the bottles into an oven preheated to 140C/280F. Lead in there for 10 minutes then use them as soon as possible – ideally while they are still warm. You could also use a water bath canner and gradually bring them up to boiling point once the contents are in the jar. Phew! With that over, let’s get on
with the fun of making some delicious infusions. Vinegars may be flavored with
herbs, soft fruits or vegetables. Use a clear vinegar which won’t overpower the
produce you want to use as your flavoring. Suitable vinegars include white vinegar, distilled
vinegar, white wine vinegar, and cider vinegar. Never use metal utensils or bowls when preparing homemade vinegars, as the acid can react. Instead, use glass,
plastic, or wooden alternatives. To make a fruit vinegar, begin by gently bruising your soft fruits or berries so they start to release their juices Now add 1 pint (0.5 liter) of vinegar to every 1lb (500g) of fruit. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth, then leave the fruit and vinegar to infuse for 4 days, stirring the mixture twice a day. When the time is up, strain the liquid through muslin or
cheesecloth. Place the liquid into a pan, then add half a pound of sugar (250g) to each pint (0.5 liter) of strained liquid. Boil the sweetened vinegar for 10 minutes,
then pour into bottles or jars. Use the fruit vinegar in desserts, or diluted as a
really refreshing drink. Vegetable vinegars are even easier to make. Suitable vegetables include
celery, chilli peppers, cucumber and garlic. Simply place your chopped
vegetables into a jar, pour on the vinegar, then leave to infuse for 2-6 weeks. Strain through cheesecloth then decant into bottles, seal, and store. This celery vinegar made with white wine vinegar is delicious poured over cold cuts of turkey or chicken. Herb vinegars make very pretty gifts. Start by harvesting sprigs of your favorite herb – here we’re using rosemary – then wash and allow to dry. Now gently bruise the leaves to release all those delicious aromas. You can do this by scraping the sprigs with the back of a spoon. Push the sprigs into the bottle. Meanwhile, heat your vinegar until it
reaches close to boiling point. Carefully pour the hot vinegar into warmed
bottles, making sure that the herbs are completely covered by the vinegar. Once the vinegar has completely cooled,
you can add your cork or cap. Store you vinegars in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Vinegars should keep for at least 4 months, or
up to 6 months in the refrigerator. Herbs exposed to the air can soon turn mouldy, so don’t forget to remove sprigs
from herb vinegar as they used up. Remember – if the seal becomes broken or the
contents of the jar look less than perfect, there’s no point risking it – just
discard the contents. Follow the sterilization guidelines at the start of the video and your vinegar should remain in tip top condition! Homemade vinegars can be made to look exceptionally beautiful with just a few choice accessories. Add a really professional finish by tying colored raffia,
ribbon or string to the neck of a bottle. You could also attach your own homemade labels – this one has the name of
the vinegar and the date it was made written on it. Why not use stamps to add
further interest your tags or labels? Here we’re using a homemade vegetable stamp to
imprint beautiful snowflake shapes. I hope this is given you a few ideas. Of course if you’ve got a tried and tested recipe, don’t keep it to yourself – tell us about it by sharing a comment
below. And if you’ve enjoyed this video, why not join the thousands of other subscribers to our video channel who receive notification of each new video
we upload. I look forward to sharing more ideas with you next time. [Music]

15 thoughts on “How to Preserve Herbs, Vegetables and Fruit in Vinegars as Holiday Gifts

  • John Lord Post author

    Excellent cooking, medicinal, herbal concoctions. Great for starting out lacto-picklings or proper cider and natural yeast sourdough breads.

  • embarado smithing and woodcraft Post author

    im sorry this is not HOME MADE VINEGAR this is home flavored vinegar NOT THE SAME

  • Alex Eržen Post author

    Looks awesome! I wonder what the raspberry one is like – it's two tastes you wouldn't usually put together 😀

  • Patrick Meehan Post author

    Thank you for sharing the recipes Best wishes Patrick

  • beckie1384 Post author

    I have never heard of this it sounds amazing☺

  • Tom G. Post author

    I'd prefer less sugar or none, and raw vinegar.

  • Virgil Huston Post author

    To those surprised about raspberry and vinegar, have you ever heard of a raspberry vinaigrette? Makes a killer salad dressing. That is what this is.

  • wolco003 Post author

    It should be noted that this is what is done in the classical professional kitchen with produce that is past its prime…those raspberries were table ready!

  • Marina Wilson Post author

    Chees that's a lot of info, I bottle similar although chillies.

  • Tony Hodgkinson Post author

    what do you use the raspberry one for?

  • BillBoy Baggins Post author

    Try making your own vinegar. This works for red wine, white wine or champagne. Any wine type of can be used. I like using a jug wine, such as a barbarone; it is inexpensive and makes a wine vinegar that is better than any store bought.

    Pour the wine into a one-gallon jar, up to 3/4 full. (The acetobacter need air.) Cover the mouth with cheese cloth or a paper coffee filter. I found there was an issue with evaporation because of the size of the opening, so cover 75% of the opening with plastic wrap. This will allow air into the jar, and reduce evaporation.

    Place the covered jar in a warm area away from direct sunlight. And wait. (The cooler the storage area, the longer the process takes.)

    So where do the acetobacter come from and what are they? What they are is a bacteria that feed on the alcohol in the wine. Their waste product is . . . acidic. It can be found floating freely in the air. You could just wait around for it to eventually find its way into your jug, or you can jump start it by adding a splash of compatible vinegar from you cupboard.

    Even though the store bought vinegar is pasteurized, often a few bacteria survive the process. If you ever noticed your store bought vinegar become slightly cloudy, it is because some bacteria are still present and have started to multiply. Agitate the bottle before adding a tablespoon or so of vinegar to your wine. (You can continue to add the dregs from last night's dinner, throughout, just don't over fill the jar.)

    You will notice your wine become cloudy and a mass begin to form. That mass is known as "mother of vinegar" and is a "colony" of acetobacter. Once you have mother, you can use it to seed your next batch of vinegar. I suggest that you only use red mother for red wine vinegar, white mother for white vinegar, etc.

    How do you know when the vinegar is ready? Two ways; by taste/smell, (the acetobacter are harmless) and by titration. When tasting your vinegar, compare it to your store bought vinegar and make a judgement call. Does it taste right/smell to you? Titration is the scientific process for determining the acid level in vinegar (and other things) and enables you to determine the exact percentage of acid, present. It can be done easily in your kitchen and makes a fun science project for the kids. The step by step process can be found on line.

    Ok, now you have home made vinegar; what next? Filter it. Strain it several times, starting with something like a kitchen strainer with larger holes, and finishing with cheese cloth or a coffee filter. The idea is to remove the mother as completely as possible. Then, pasteurize it to destroy any bacteria still floating about. (Instructions can also be found, you guessed it; on line.)

    Once filtered and pasteurized, bottle it and seal it. Use empty wine bottles, old vinegar bottles or what ever. Store in a cool, dry, dark place. I keep some in the fridge for ready use.

  • Wingedshadowwolf Post author

    I've read that when making vinegars and oils like this, to remove the herbs used for infusing and replace them with a small amount of fresh herbs for a nice presentation.

  • Jackie Horsley Post author

    thanks for the tip on how to make vinegars

  • Sophie's Foodie Files Post author

    Thank you so much for explaining everything very well! 🙂

  • FMZ Indah Post author

    you should try kombucha tea to replace the white vinegar you used. after 30 days of fermentation, kombucha tea will turn into kombucha vinegar.

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