Cranberry Rosemary Vinegar

Cranberry-Rosemary Vinegar

This is a favorite food gift of mine. It is so festive and it tastes good, too.

I happen to love cranberries. I buy a lot of them this time of year. They are in season, so the price is good. I buy extra, and throw a few bags in the freezer to enjoy all year long

I make all sorts of baked goods with them, the cranberry sauce we have with Thanksgiving dinner and a  liqueur made with cranberries and vodka.  Cranberries make wonderful relish and jam and add a great tartness to baked goods. I even preserve some by making, and canning, my own cranberry juice.

I also preserve some by using cranberries to flavor vinegar. By adding rosemary, the end result is a great tasting vinegar that is perfect for winter salads. It is also a lovely gift.

I love to give homemade gifts. Time isn’t always on my side, though. I doubt my niece will be getting that scarf I was going to crochet for her. But I can get several bottles of this vinegar made in no time.

All you need are bottles with corks or screw top lids. If using corks, be sure they are food grade. You’ll also need cranberries, bamboo skewers, fresh rosemary and vinegar- 5% acidity. I use red wine vinegar. Other vinegar will work, too. If you use white vinegar or cider vinegar they will pick up color from the berries and turn a pretty reddish shade. Not as red as with the wine vinegar, but still very pretty.

Since I bring my rosemary plants inside for the winter, I have access to fresh rosemary. Your local grocery store probably has some in the produce department. You can use other herbs, if you can’t find rosemary.

Make sure the skewers will fit in the bottles. Cut them down to fit, if needed. Skewer the berries on the skewers leaving a little room on the top of the skewer. If your cranberries are really big, test to make sure they will fit the neck of the bottle. The skewers keep the berries from floating around.

Place a few sprigs of rosemary in each bottle and then add the berry- filled skewers. Pour in the vinegar, leaving a little room for the cork. Sometimes you need to add a little more vinegar the next day as some will absorb into the cranberries and the skewers. I make decorative labels and give them as gifts. Ready to use in a week.