Although raspberry vinaigrette is all the rage these days, not a lot of people are familiar with the cool refreshing drink that is Raspberry Vinegar. This is something Jim's mom has made for years--and so have I. Our kids' friends refused to try it when they were young. They didn't want to drink vinegar! But when we called it Raspberry Punch, everyone loved it.
It's very simple to make, but you do need to have a good supply of fresh raspberries. During the season, I picked off berries and just kept adding them to the buckets living in the freezer until last week when Hanna came home for a week of canning.
The first thing you do is add one part of vinegar to six parts of raspberries. Just regular old vinegar does fine. Snap the lids back on the buckets and let this brew for 2-3 days. It's not picky...it's pickling!
Then it's time to strain out the pulp and seeds so the juice will be clear and sparkling.
But there's still a lot of juice in the berries, so we hang them in an old pillowcase overnight, catching the remainder of the juice in a large bowl.
In the morning, we measure out the juice into a large pot and add an EQUAL amount of sugar.
Heat this up enough so all the sugar is dissolved. Then pour into canning jars, snap on boiling hot lids and screw bands. Can for about 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.
How much does it make? Each gallon bucket (ice cream bucket) of berries makes about three quarts of juice concentrate. Our batch this week made 14 quarts.
How to serve? This is super-concentrated. Each one quart jar makes about two gallons of refreshing goodness. Or you can pour your glass about one-eighth full of concentrate, add some ice cubes, and top off the glass with cold water:
Nothing better on a hot summer day, so we're ready for next year!