Life hack

How to make blueberry vinegar

LAST UPDATED: August 28, 2018 PUBLISHED: August 21, 2018 By Pam Greer 28 Comments As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This Easy Blueberry Vinegar is a great way to preserve blueberries! It makes a great vinaigrette and a lovely Christmas gift for food lovers!

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Easy Condiments Make Great Foodie Gifts!

I have to confess, I adore condiments. Love them. From infused vinegars – like this Mango Vinegar or this Chive Blossom Vinegar, to infused oils, salsa, relishes, rubs…the list goes on and on.

Part of it, might stem from my love of jars. I love jars. I love to put things in jars.

I love to can – like these Simply Good Dill Pickles, pickle, infuse – Pineapple Jalapeño Tequila – a favorite, ferment (try these Half Sours) ….anything and everything you can do in a jar.

Preserving Blueberries

Part of the reason I love putting things in jars is because you are keeping them for later. Like these gorgeous blueberries. I could have made a Blueberry Compote, or an Instant Pot Quinoa Blueberry Breakfast Bowl, or just sat there and ate them all one little blue bite at a time.

But I wanted to save them a bit. Have a little bit of blueberry later.

Infusing Vinegar with Blueberries

Do you remember when I reviewed Put ’em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide & Cookbook: Creative Ways to Put ’em Up, Tasty Ways to Use ’em Up – you can read my review here. One of the things that I said I was going to make was the blueberry vinegar.

Yes, the book is filled with tons of gorgeous recipes, and yes, I chose to make one of the easiest in the book. Surprised? I think not.

It’s so easy to make this blueberry vinegar! You add blueberries to a sterilized jar. Bring vinegar and sugar (I use a superfine because it dissolves so easily) to a boil and then pour over blueberries. If you are using a regular canning jar and lid, you want to line with parchment paper to keep the vinegar from corroding the lid.

Store in a cool, dark place for a week, shaking it daily. Strain and decant into a pretty bottle or jar!

Easy peasy and it makes a great holiday gift for your foodie friends and family.

Blueberry Vinegar

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, the blueberry vinegar is super easy (time does all the work)…but what can you do with it.

Oodles, my friend, oodles. From vinaigrettes to pan reduction sauces. And one of my favorite things about the book is that right next to every preserving recipe is a use-em-up recipe.

For the blueberry vinegar, she has an old fashioned Blueberry Shrub recipe – which is basically 2 tablespoons of your yummy blueberry vinegar stirred into seltzer or water – so good!

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Homemade berry vinegar is easily made in your home kitchen preserving the goodness of fresh seasonal fruit.

Homemade Berry Vinegar

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Homemade Berry Vinegar is my recipe of the day for Berry Week. I love making vinegars every year- sometimes with berries, sometimes with other fruits, occasionally with herbs and then there is pepper vinegar, the staple of the south.

There isn’t a whole lot involved with making these vinegars from scratch as it takes just the fruit, a supply of white wine vinegar, and some canning jars.

What Type of Vinegar Should I Use?

As a word of caution, I don’t advise trying this with cider vinegar, white vinegar or anything else as the flavors will either be harsh, off, or just discolored in the vinegar itself. You want a nice clear vinegar to showcase the lovely color of your fruit, but white vinegar is just harsh flavored.

Where Should I Store My Vinegar?

After you set up the vinegar, you will want to store it in a nice dark place. Basements and cellars are great as they are cool and dark. You really don’t want to store in a hot place. If you don’t have something handy, you can always create a dark place inside a heavy paper grocery bag and set off to the side somewhere where the room temp is nice. Stay away from the laundry room with it if you store things there as the dryer will put off heat.

Sitting quietly in their dark world, vinegars will look wonderful in about 3-4 weeks. The fruit itself may appear like the color has faded, but that’s ok.

How To Finish It Up

Strain the berries off and try to avoid any sediment in the bottom of the jar if you have that as it will make the vinegar cloudy.

The vinegar is safe to keep at room temp because of the vinegar content.

Don’t keep the berries in the vinegar as it will degrade. Sometimes, when doing herb vinegars, I will keep a sprig of tarragon in it but even that can look not so pretty after awhile.

Enjoy your berry vinegar as you would any other, or try putting it in your favorite homemade vinaigrettes for a more delicious and complex flavor.

Tuesday Berry Week Recipes

It’s Berry Week so all week long you will be seeing berry oriented recipes on various participating blogs. I will be participating three days this week as time allows. Check my events calendar on the right margin for more details.

More excitement around Casa de Ninj this summer: the high-bush blueberries are producing!

Regular readers will recall that last year was pretty much a crapfest in the wee orchard: no peaches, no pears, no cherries, a handful of blueberries and a few measly apples. Pffft. Hardly worth the countless hours I spent hand-picking beetles off all the trees.

Of course, all this misery was courtesy of Mother Nature, who is a fickle broad indeed, giving us a killing late spring frost in 2012 — as if we hadn’t gone through enough cold all winter. Similarly, this summer she has given us unseasonably cold temperatures alternating with blistering heat and seemingly endless rain. For cripes’ sake, it’s mid-August and I’m still waiting on the tomato harvest; if we don’t scoot this along, my unripe tomatoes will be touched with frost before I can eat them.

But it turns out there’s a silver lining to all this craptacular weather: the blueberries are thriving.

I’m done complaining. We only have four blueberry bushes and I have already harvested at least six quarts, with many more out there just waiting for me. We have oodles, even with my sharing them with the birds this year (we’re all peacefully co-existing now that I’ve started feeding them and gave them some bitchin’ bird baths).

So I was delighted when the week’s “assignment” from Sherri Brooks Vinton’s Put ‘Em Up Fruit for the From Scratch Club’s virtual book club turned out to include blueberries.

I already put up some of what I’m calling Black and Blue Jam this year, using the aforementioned blueberries and a boatload of wild black raspberries foraged from the edges of our woods, so I wanted to try something other than jam. Behold: Sherri’s book offered up blueberry vinegar!

I was hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure how I would use blueberry vinegar. Sure, it would make a delightful vinaigrette, but how many fruity salads could I count on eating? I took the plunge when I read that the vinegar could also be used to make a refreshing blueberry shrub.

Are you familiar with shrubs? An old staple — back from the Colonial days when soda and lattes weren’t options — shrubs are a bit of flavored vinegar (2 tablespoons in a tall glass) mixed with water (in this case, seltzer), which yields a surprisingly refreshing beverage. Vinegar. In a beverage. Who knew?

The vinegar couldn’t be simpler to make (see recipe below) and it makes enough so that you can share it with a lucky friend.

And, of course, what with The Ninj being The Ninj, I’m planning to throw some vodka in there and see what a shrubby cocktail tastes like. I’ll keep you posted.

Do you make flavored vinegars? What’s your favorite? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

2 cups blueberries
2 cups white vinegar
1 cup sugar

Place a quart canning jar in a pot of nearly-boiling water for about 10 minutes to sterilize it. Drain and put the blueberries in the hot jar.

Meanwhile, place the vinegar and sugar in a small pot and bring it to a boil (stir it to dissolve the sugar). Pour this mixture into the jar over the berries. Place a large square of wax paper over the mouth of the jar and then screw on the lid (the paper prevents the lid from rusting). Shake the jar and place it in a cool, dark place for about a week. Be sure to shake the jar daily.

After a week, strain out the blueberries and store the vinegar a clean jar or bottle. The vinegar will keep at room temperature for a few months (and even longer in the fridge).

To make the shrub, add a tablespoon or two of blueberry vinegar to a glass and top with seltzer water and ice. Give it a little stir and enjoy!

Summer means blueberries. But it also means salads! I suppose you could just throw some blueberries on your salad and call it a summery day, but why stop there? This Blueberry Vinaigrette levels up your summer salads. (Especially this 7 Layer Summer Salad!)

Blueberry Vinaigrette Ingredients

So let’s break down what goes into a good balsamic vinaigrette before jumping into this blueberry vinaigrette recipe:

Balsamic: Your major flavor maker. This is a hydrophilic element, meaning it is attracted to water. Generally you’ll use 1 part balsamic to 2-3 parts oil.

Oil: Gives the dressing a good mouth-feel (the term used for that feeling you get when eating fats) and dilutes the vinegar. This is hydrophobic, meaning it does not like water or water-like substances (like vinegar).

Emulsifier: Balsamic is hydrophilic and oil is hydrophobic, meaning these guys don’t get along. Without something to make them stick together they’re going to separate. That’s where the emulsifier comes in. The emulsifier has a water-loving side and a water-hating side, so it gets along with both balsamic and oil, bringing the two together in happy harmony. Some good emulsifiers for vinaigrettes are:

  • Honey (we’ll use this one today because this is a sweet dressing)
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise

Salt and pepper: Always important for rounding out the sweet flavors of the balsamic.

Extra yums: Let your imagination go wild! We’re using blueberries and a touch of lemon today but the possibilities are endless.