Savouring the End of Summer: Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar
Updated: Sep 3
This recipe takes time, but it is well worth the effort. The most time-consuming part is removing the elderberries from their stalks and weighing them. It could become an arduous task, so this is best done sitting outside in the evening with a glass of good wine and good company. It's also best to spread the berries out on a surface to allow any stowaways to escape: elderberries seem particularly popular with earwigs. See our E is the Elderberries post for more elderberry recipe ideas.
Straightforward, therapeutic, and with only a few ingredients, this is something anyone can easily have a go at.
Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar
Makes about 1 litre
Prep time: 30 minutes (+ 5-6 days steeping)
Cooking time: 15 minutes
about 300g ripe (i.e., dark and glossy) elderberries
600ml organic white wine vinegar
750g caster sugar
A 1 litre sterilised bottle (or a few smaller bottles totalling 1 litre), with airtight lid(s)
A sterilised funnel
Pick all the ripe berries from their stalks and add them to the scales. You will want around 300g of berries, but do not fret if they come to a little more or a little less.
Add your berries to a large wide bowl, and pour over the white wine vinegar. The berries should all be covered. Give it a little stir with a metal spoon to help kick-start the infusion process, and to make sure any floating berries lose their buoyancy and sink.
Cover, and leave in a cool corner to steep for 5 to 6 days. Check the berries daily, giving them a gentle stir.
Drain the vinegar into a saucepan using a sieve and discard the soaked berries. Add the caster sugar to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring, and then simmer for 15 minutes. The sugar should have dissolved, and the liquid should have thickened slightly. Whilst still hot, pour your balsamic vinegar into sterilised jars and label.
Serve with focaccia, as a salad dressing, or indeed anywhere you would usually have to resort to shop-bought balsamic vinegar!