When it comes to preserving foraged soft fruits and berries, most people think of jams, jellies and syrups. However, fruit vinegars are a delicious alternative that can be made as sweet or acidic as you wish.
Some berries and soft fruits have had bumper crops this year either because of or in spite of the drought we have experience in Britain. So, why not try something different this year and make some delicious fruit vinegar?
200g edible berries
Put the berries/soft fruit and vinegar into a glass jar and bash up the berries a bit with the bottom of a rolling pin
Cover the jar with kitchen roll secured with a rubber band or string for 7 - 14 days
Agitate the mixture every day After your infusing time is done, strain the liquid
Put the liquid into a non-reactive pan (due to vinegar) and add sugar - the amount you add is personal choice
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins
Bottle in sterile glass bottles
Complete by canning and allow to cool
It is that simple! If you use a vinegar with acidity of 6% and sterilise and can correctly, your finished vinegar should last a year.
Fruits and berries that work well are: wild strawberries, damsons, elder, blackberries, currants, sloes, bullace, and bilberries.
Discover more wild edibles and recipes on a foraging course
Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!