Friday, September 4, 2020

Sipping vinegar - fragrant snowbell

Fragrant snowbell vinegar, a dash of maple syrup, and seltzer. With some candied baby pine cones and a slice of lemon. Sipped on the terrace just before the commemorative and heart stopping 9/11 lights beamed into the September sky.

This evening drink was a longer version of one I served earlier in the humid day for a forage-picnic-for-one, after a private plant walk in the nearby park (for a delightful refugee from Colorado's high country). I liked it so much at 1pm that I sipped it again at 7pm while I cooked a rack of lamb over the coals.

Vinegar is an interesting thing. I collected the perfumed fragrant snowbell (Styrax obassia) flowers early last summer, mixed them with sugar and water, and left them in a large jar to ferment, per my usual method for making cordials (see the elderflower and common milkweed chapters in Forage, Harvest, Feast). When the liquid was effervescent I strained it, returned it to the jar (loosely covered) and waited, fingers crossed. Good things happened. Meaning, local acetobacter moved in, ate the sugar, converted it to acetic acid, and...vinegar. All you have to do then is bottle it. Which I did. 

It is rich, honeyed, fruity, and tart. A real sipping vinegar. And an outstanding thirst quencher - so complex you don't mind that there is zero alcohol in it.

The candied pine cones are another story. But a good one.


Other Drinks

1 comment:

  1. Oh I love drinking vinegars but have never made my own vinegar. I use over ripe fruit, sugar and ACV. Then I use a shot glass of my concoction and soda water. Blood Orange Anise and Blackberry Mint are in the refrigerator right now.


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