This is an incredibly flexible way of preserving the abundance of summer fruits available at your local market or Pick Your Own. Vintage fruit vinegars were traditionally sweetened with a lot more sugar before being stored away for use during the winter. They would then be used as a vitamin C packed drink to treat colds and flu. I was introduced to the concept by my own Nanna who recalled being fed fruit vinegar watered down with hot water when she was a child.

The reinvented version of fruit vinegar is much sharper and more often used in a salad dressing mixed with oil and spices. I am particularly fond of adding a little to my gin and tonic at the end of a long day at work. Raspberries make a delicious fruit vinegar but you could try this recipe with blackcurrants, strawberries, brambles or even a batch of mixed berries.


1kg of raspberries

300ml white wine vinegar

150g of golden caster sugar

Large bowl and cling film

Muslin cloth

Empty plastic water bottles or similar


Pick over the fresh raspberries for bugs and soil. Rinse carefully if required.

Place the raspberries into a large bowl and crush slightly with a fork until the juices come out. Pour the white wine vinegar over the berries and stir well.

Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to macerate in a cool, dry place for seven to ten days. Stir once a day.

Pour the fruit infused vinegar through a sieve lined with muslin. Don’t be tempted to press the fruit or it will make your vinegar cloudy.

Measure the raspberry vinegar into a pan and warm gently. Tip in the sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved. Do not boil or you will spoil the flavour.

Taste your vinegar for sweetness, adding more sugar if required. Leave to cool slightly before bottling and store in a cool dry place for up to eight months.

- Claire Davies is a York food writer with a passion for seasonal ingredients and historic recipes. Her blog, The Greedy Wordsmith, can be found online.