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Raspberry-Mint Vinegar

Aceto di Lampone e Menta

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Fruit-flavored vinegars were served as refreshing hot-weather drinks by the ancient Romans. Fruit vinegars are best made with seasonal fruits. This recipe for raspberry vinegar is easily adaptable; try blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, or a mix.

Use a good-quality white vinegar. Sometimes I create food still lifes with my vinegars, adding a sprig of mint, as here, or curled strips of orange or line zest. Use the vinegar on potato or green salads, for deglazing pans when cooking pork chops or chicken, or on fresh fruit salads.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup packed fresh raspberries plus 1/4 cup loosely packed for skewering

3 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 sprigs fresh mint

Thin wooden skewers

Sterilized 20-ounce bottle

Directions

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, 1/4 cup of the raspberries, the sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Strain through a sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the raspberries to extract as much juice as possible. Set aside to cool slightly. Skewer the remaining raspberries and place them in the sterilized bottle. Add the mint sprigs.

Insert a funnel into the mouth of the bottle and pour in the raspberry vinegar. Cap or cork the bottle and place it in a sunny spot for 8 hours.

Place the vinegar in a dark place and let it age for about 6 weeks before using.

This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1995.

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