Ah, the delights of a refreshing summer drink! I’m lucky enough to have had a good raspberry patch for most of the last 17 years. I puree them into smoothies, crumble them into pancakes, and add them to Raspberry Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake.
But when all is said and done, we drink more raspberries than we eat.
Raspberry Vinegar is our summer drink of choice. It’s dead easy to make in any quantity and can be made from fresh or frozen berries. When I came across several ziplocs full while cleaning out the freezers a couple of weeks ago, I measured out the volume and started a batch of Raspberry Vinegar in a large bucket.
6 parts raspberries
1 part white vinegar
The berries don’t need to be thawed in advance. They’ll thaw fine in the vinegar. Cover the bucket and let it sit for 2-3 days, then strain it through cheesecloth, as shown above. Let it sit overnight to get the most liquid through, and mash the pulp a bit with the back of a wooden spoon.
Toss the pulp. (Our chickens like it!)
Measure the vinegar and place it in a large pot and add an equal amount of sugar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then pour it into sterilized quart jars and snap on boiling hot lids and screw bands. Can for about 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. Or, if you’ve made a smaller amount, just keep the jar in the fridge and use it as desired.
One gallon of berries will make about 3 quarts of concentrate. Each quart of concentrate will make 2-3 gallons of raspberry “punch.” Add a bit to the bottom of a glass, add a few ice cubes, and top off with cold water. You’ll soon figure out how strong you enjoy it.
This time I experimented with honey in half the batch. You can see the two glasses in the photo aren’t identical. The cloudier one was made with honey. It also didn’t have quite as much zing as the sugar variety. Sometime I’d like to try it with homemade apple cider vinegar for a totally homegrown drink. I bet it will be awesome!