Sweet Elderberry Vinegar is a tasty alternative to Balsamic and makes the most delicious salad dressing. Try drizzling your Elderberry Vinegar over ice cream or add it to sparkling water and ice for a refreshing summer drink. The vinegar is so versatile it even doubles up as a cold and flu remedy, simply add hot water to a tablespoon of Elderberry Vinegar and stir.
Despite being busy I couldn’t resist picking the elderberries from the Elder trees in our field. Even though we picked the flowers in early summer to make Elderflower liqueur, our trees were still packed with more than enough berries for us and the birds.
We waited patiently for the elderberries to ripen as it’s important to pick them when they’re fully ripe because unripe fruits can cause tummy upsets. To make the most of your foraged fruit, see my Harvesting Elderberries post for tips and more details on what to look for when picking.
Is Sweet Elderberry Vinegar easy to make?
Yes it is and it’s so versatile you can use it on sweet and savoury dishes. I use a cider vinegar as malt vinegar is too harsh. I have tried a white wine vinegar with good results but cider vinegar is our favourite.
It’s best to let the fruit macerate with the vinegar for at least two days if you have time but I like to leave it for five. All you then need to do is strain it, add sugar and boil up for about ten minutes and there you have it, your very own Elderberry Vinegar.
We like our fruit vinegars quite syrupy so I’ve boiled ours for fifteen minutes; we use it like a Balsamic reduction. It’s best to leave your fruit vinegar to mature for a couple of weeks so the vinegar can lose its harshness.
I hope you enjoy Sweet Elderberry Vinegar as much as we do. Here’s the recipe in quick printable format so you can have it to hand while you try it out.
Sweet Elderberry Vinegar
Sweet Elderberry Vinegar is a tasty alternative to Balsamic and makes the most delicious salad dressing. Try drizzling your Elderberry Vinegar over ice cream or add it to sparkling water and ice for a refreshing summer drink.
- 1 kg clean elderberries
- 600 ml ( 2 1/4 cups) cider vinegar
- Granulated sugar
- You will need:
- A large preserving pan
- A scalded jelly bag
- A jelly stand
- Sterilised bottles or jars
- Use an upturned stool with a muslin cloth attached to it instead of a jelly bag and stand.
- Preparation time does not include macerating or straining time.
- Step 1 Put the elderberries in a large bowl and add the cider vinegar and crush them lightly with a potato masher.
- Step 2 Pour into a large sealed glass container (I used a Le Parfait Jar) and leave to macerate for at least 2 days – 5 days is better if you have the time.
- Step 3 Attach the jelly bag to its stand and place it over a large bowl.
- Step 4 Pour the macerated elderberries and juice into the jelly bag and leave to strain for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Step 5 Measure the strained liquid and pour into a preserving pan or large saucepan.
- Step 6 For every 600 ml (2 1/4 cups) of liquid add 450 g (1 lb) of granulated sugar.
- Step 7 Place over a low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissloved.
- Step 8 Bring slowly to the boil and boil for 10 minutes – 15 minutes if you want a syrupy vinegar.
- Step 9 Remove from the heat and skim off any scum.
- Step 10 Leave to cool before decanting into sterilised bottles or jars.
- Step 11 Store in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight – keeps for at least 12 months.
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More Elderberry Recipes for you to try
Elderberry Jelly with Port – this fruity seedless jam is delicious on toast or a scone and is equally good with cooked or cold meats as it pairs perfectly with beef, pork, lamb and poultry. Or simply add the jelly to your gravy or jus as you would when using redcurrant jelly.
Elderberry Tart –
I’ve used a rich butter pastry and used a small amount of custard flavoured with Creme de Cassis as a base for the elderberries for my version of this much loved tart. It truly is delicious, the elderberries adding just the right amount of tartness and fruitiness and if you’re like us you won’t be able to stop at just one slice.
PIN SWEET ELDERBERRY VINEGAR FOR LATER: