Monday, April 11, 2016

Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar Recipe

On a vacation last year, my husband and I bought some Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar and fell in love with it. It quickly became the ONLY dressing I would eat on a salad. It was just the right amount of sweet, tangy, and fruity. Purchasing the bottle of vinegar had been pricey, but completely worth it...and then we ran out. I looked into ordering some more, but the shipping was out of the question. So of course, I decided that there must be a way to make some myself. It turns out that the process is pretty simple, so I thought I would share it with you to enjoy!

There are a million different combinations of fruits, herbs, vegetables, etc. that you can combine to make just the flavor that you like, but I decided to start with a Blackberry Ginger :)

What you Need:
- 17oz. balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
- 2 tbsp. dried ginger flakes (if you grow ginger, you can make your own)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- glass container (that seals)
- cheesecloth

1. In a non-reactive saucepan, pour balsamic vinegar and add blackberries and ginger. I used blackberries from the backyard, and dried ginger that I harvested and dehydrated from the garden this past fall.

2. Smash the blackberries with a potato masher and then let the combination cook down and thicken on a low simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally. Just a fair warning- this will make your whole house smell like vinegar. It may not smell so bad to you if you are in the kitchen the whole time, but my husband came home mid-project and said that coming in the door the smell slapped him in the face :)

3. Once the mixture has thickened, pour in the sugar and stir until it has completely dissolved. Make sure that the mixture does not return to a boil during this step. Once it has dissolved, pour the mixture into a sterilized mason jar and seal tightly. Let the mixture sit for one week in a cool dark place. Shake the jar every day to keep the flavors mixing.

4. After a week, strain the liquid through several layers of cheesecloth to get rid of all of the pulp. Store the vinegar in a glass container with a tight seal. Some people say to keep it refrigerated and others claim that it will keep just fine for a year without it. I'll be keeping mine in the cabinet, but the choice is yours.

 5. Now, enjoy your delicious blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar! Use it as a salad dressing, a sauce for meat, or drizzled on top of cheesecake or ice cream! The possibilities are endless, and you will not be disappointed with this gourmet taste for a fraction of the cost of the fancy vinegar shops!