Tag Archives: Vinegar

Elderflower Vinegar – Chapter Two

I finally got around to straining the elderflower vinegar that I made last month. My funnel had gone walk about and so I had ample excuse to buy a very natty lime-green, rubber snail version that I’d spotted up the road. It’s fabulous because it folds flat like a concertina and so I can wedge it into my over-filled kitchen draw. It came from a great shop, Sense in Clifton, where there’s a very tempting selection of fun, culinary gadgets. In fact my vinegar ended up being quite an extravagant affair because once I’d found my snail I couldn’t resist one or two other luminous rubber must-haves for my kitchen, but more on those at a later date.

I’ve kept my elderflowers steeping in vinegar in the fridge for the last few weeks, I probably didn’t need to but it’s been so hot lately that I worried about the flowers going mouldy. Today I strained the vinegar through muslin and put it into some old bottles I had stowed away. It tastes wonderful; really floral.Green salad with Elderflower Vinegar

I’m sure that I’ll come up with some more exciting moments to use my vinegar but today I dressed a simple green salad with Arbequina olive oil (that I simply adore), the vinegar and a bit of seasoning. We ate the aromatic salad with Cumberland sausages and new potatoes, hardly gourmet but very good all the same.
I’ll definitely be making larger quantities of the vinegar next year, and plan to begin collecting up any attractive bottles in the meantime.

Elderflower Vinegar

What a weekend, who’d have believed it?  Summer’s arrived at last, Murray’s won Wimbledon and we finally got around to picking some elderflower blossom. Rather than making some cordial I plumped for vinegar this year; I may even christen my finished bottle with some suitably corny, Murry-esque title if I can think of one (all suggestions welcome).

I’ve been eyeing up the bounteous blossom for weeks. Has it been a particularly good year or is it just the fact that I’ve been frustrated at never getting out there ? Well, what with the sudden heat-wave I really did think that I might have missed the boat, as the flowers must be fresh and new or there’s the chance of that rather nasty cat-pee bouquet. We finally made our way up to The Downs, Bristol’s fabulous open park land, to find the place heaving with cars and runners and so we were forced to retreat to one lone elder we’d spotted on the way.

We perched precariously on our steps, reaching out with the loppers over a very uninviting bed of nettles and managed a rather measly pile of flowers. So, gallons of cordial were obviously out of the question and suddenly Diana Henry’s suggestion of Elderflower vinegar (from her fabulous book salt sugar smoke) seemed perfect. It’s a cinch to make too.

Elderflower Vinegar

1 suitable  jar, such as a kilner jar, sterilised
Enough elderflower heads to fill your jar
1 bottle of white wine vinegar.

Clean off the blossom, shaking off any bugs, but don’t wash it or you’ll lose all the fragrant pollen (don’t pick after a dewy dawn or rain either, for the very same reason).

Push the flower heads into the jar and cover with vinegar. I put a plastic pastry cutter in on top of the flowers to keep them below the surface of the vinegar. Leave for 3 weeks in a cool, dark place and then strain through muslin.

I couldn’t resist a little taste today and amazingly the vinegar has already taken on some fabulous floral notes. I’ll update you in a few weeks time.