Three jars recently filled, the one on the left was filled the day before.
Here's an update on my latest batch of Rose Hip Vinegar:
It's been about 6 months since I put together this infusion to age and it's really amazing now. I strained one of the jars carefully through unbleached coffee filters into 2 containers. I use the tall slender one from my counter top and I'll put the other one in a cool dark cupboard to use for refilling it later.
After straining the 6 month old infusion, I added more white distilled vinegar to the rose hips in the jar and I'll let that infuse again. There's a lot more flavor that can be extracted from them!
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mv2_d_4032_3024_s_4_2.jpg” alt=”Straining the rose hip vinegar.” width=”” height=”” />
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1 cup dried rugosa rose hips
1 quart white vinegar
Place the dried rose hips into a sterilized jar and fill with white vinegar to within 1/2 inch of the top of the jar. Clean the lid and ring well with soapy water. Wipe the mouth of the jar clean and dry, then center the lid and screw on the ring fingertip tight. Let sit in a warm area with sunlight for a week or two then place in a dark cool area to age for 2-3 more weeks or up to 2 years.
The infusion is ready to use after 1 month but best after 2 years.
When ready to use. Strain the rose hips from the vinegar using a paper coffee filter to be sure to remove all traces of any rose hip hairs or other matter. This is extremely important to avoid serious discomfort or health complications from the indigestible and irritating parts from the center of the hips.
Delightfully delicate and fruity this rosehip vinegar is perfect for roasted veggies, salads and more.
Autumn is well and truly with us around these parts. The trees are turning from green to yellow, gold and red. Changes every day.
Berries in the hedgerow are like tiny sparks. Mother Nature preparing for the main event of flaming pyrotechnics that will take place in a few weeks when all the trees are ready to light the greyed-out landscape with a riot of colourful flames.
I love foraging and gather all the berries and fruits I can. Blackberries, haws, rowan and these rosehips. I’ve made rosehip jelly before, now it’s time to make some rosehip vinegar.
Ingredients for rosehip vinegar
- Rosehips of course
- White wine vinegar. Use white wine vinegar as it is lighter and more delicate than either red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- Orange peel from unwaxed orange – see notes below.
How to remove wax from citrus fruit
Most of the citrus fruit we buy from the supermarket is coated in wax as a preservative unless it’s sold as ‘unwaxed’.
It’s quite simple to remove this wax coating. Just wash the fruit in warm soapy water and give it a jolly good scrub with a nailbrush to remove the wax.
Rinse well in cold water and pat dry on a clean tea towel.
How to make rosehip vinegar
This is such a simple recipe and makes 1 bottle of delicious vinegar.
Simply wash and dry the rosehips and prick them all over with a pin. This is to allow the flavour to escape from the fruits themselves.
Pare the zest from the orange trying to avoid the bitter white pith as much as possible. Cut this into pieces about 2cm square.
Thread the rosehips on to a wooden skewer with pieces of orange in between and pop this into a sterilised bottle
Pour over the vinegar to cover everything completely.
Leave in a cupboard for 2 weeks for the flavours to develop.
Remove the skewer and rosehips or if you leave them in the bottle top up with more vinegar to ensure they are always covered.
What does rosehip vinegar taste like and how do you use it?
Rosehip vinegar is tangy and bright with a citrus kick.
It perks up chicken and pork, goes great on wintry greens and sparks up a basic salad with it’s fruity citrus zap.
Looking for more amazing foraging recipes to try? Then check these out before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram , Facebook , Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
The roses in my garden needed some trimming so after enjoying them and their wonderful fragrance in the garden, I decided to make vinegar infused with roses.
My roses are called ” Louise Odier” it is an old historical rose with tons of fragrance.
Fill your jar with the petals. I did not rinse mine because it had just been raining so nature took care of the rinsing.
Cover with vinegar. Use a colour less one so the beautiful pink colour can be seen.
Place on a sunlit windowsill for a week or two. Strain and bottle. Use on salad or drizzle over strawberries. Or just enjoy the beautiful colour.
This is the colour after one day. Pink and lovely. The taste of roses still have to develop for a week or two.
Okay folks, there’s only five weeks left of the 2020 edition of my column and I thought I’d focus solely on festive season inspired recipes and simple homemade gift ideas. Stay tuned for my infamous wholefood tiramisu recipe, which features tonnes of nourishing egg yolks, in the spirit of nutrient dense traditional foods, which we’ve been discussing over the past few weeks.
Now, it’s this time of year when the frantic search for gifts coincides with my roses blooming in all their spectacular aromatic splendour. We have a garden littered with mature plants and such an abundance of flowers in late Spring, that I started experimenting with rose petal vinegar just to make use of them all. We simply don’t have enough rooms in the house – nor vases – to keep up at this time of year, although granted, I do try!
I quickly discovered that rose petal vinegar is the perfect Christmas gift: ridiculously simple and quick to make (petals in vinegar, wait, strain, voila!), inexpensive if you have roses growing in your garden (essentially the cost of a pretty bottle) and something the recipient will genuinely appreciate and enjoy over the Summertime. At this time of year, with fresh salads stealing the lion’s share of the menu, having a few novelty dressing additions on hand, never goes astray.
The wonderful thing about rose petal vinegar is that it doubles as an impressive beauty product. I’m a firm believer in natural, low-tox cosmetics, so many of my beauty supplies are sourced from the kitchen. Thanks to decades of misleading marketing, we tend to underestimate how powerful homemade products have the potential to be – not to mention the fact that they’re inexpensive, readily accessible and better for our bodies and the environment.
Roses & vinegar: allies in beauty
As an ex-beauty therapist, I have a long-standing appreciation for roses. Their extensive list of active constituents and healing properties mean they have unparalleled scope when it comes to treating skin issues. You’ll see it recommended for dry skin, oily skin, inflamed skin, acne and rosacea-prone skin and mature, ageing skin, so there’s really no one it can’t help!
Raw apple cider vinegar is a fantastic multi-purpose skin tonic as well. Being a living food, it’s teeming with probiotics (one of the latest beauty trends), enzymes and the holy grail of skincare, and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) – citric and malic acid, to be precise.
And without wanting to sound like a skincare commercial, in my experience, it:
• Balances pH and oil production
• Wards off acne, due to its powerfully antimicrobial properties
• Lightens pigmentation and brightens skin tone, thanks to the AHA component
• Helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, by exfoliating the skin – without scrubbing
Making rose petal vinegar
When it comes to selecting roses for this process, it’s extremely important that you only use organic, non-sprayed, preferably home-grown roses. Roses from a florist are not suitable for consumption as they have been sprayed with harmful pesticides.
It’s best to opt for flowers with the most vibrant colour and aroma as they will help create a more impressive finished product. Dark red roses are, by far, the best.
1. Remove the petals and place them on a plate. This helps the tiny rose-dwelling insects to exit, stage left.
2. Whilst they’re on the move, select a glass jar with an airtight lid. Sterilise it by filling it, slowly + carefully, with boiling water. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes, then drain and allow it to cool. Fill the jar half-way with raw apple cider vinegar.
3. According to the herbalist who showed me how to make this, the pale yellow edges of the petals which attach to the base of the flower can become bitter with time, so an optional step is to remove them. One by one, tear this edge off the petals and place the petals in the jar with the vinegar.
4. Use a clean utensil to push the petals beneath the surface of the vinegar. You can add more petals here if you wish. There’s no rule to follow here, though – work with what you’ve got. The higher the ratio of petals to vinegar, the more intense the resulting flavour and colour will be. Top with enough vinegar to reach the shoulder of the jar, leaving a space at the top. Attach the lid and allow it to sit in a warm spot for several days, until the colour has transferred from the petals to the vinegar. This will happen much faster in warm weather.
5. Strain out the petals and discard them. Then decant your vinegar into a suitable, sterilised glass bottle. Or if you’re happy with the current container, you can leave it, as is. If the vinegar is stored properly in a cool, dark cupboard, it should last several years. However, the flavour and colour will diminish with time.
Rose petal vinegar as a skin tonic
My favourite way to use rose petal vinegar topically is to keep it in a small glass spray bottle, spritzing it onto fingertips or a cotton pad and applying it to damp skin, post-cleanse and prior to moisturising. Be sure to avoid the eye area, completely.
Be aware that the first few times you use it in this way, the fruit acids may sting a little. If you’re yet to experience a salon ‘peel’, this is a much milder version of what they offer. Applying it whilst the skin is still damp helps to slightly dilute the acidity. However, if you have very dry, inflamed or sensitive skin, you might like to start with a 2:1 ratio of vinegar and water.
Well I hope you enjoy this recipe, folks! Stay tuned for more delicious entertaining and gift ideas over the coming weeks.
Garden roses (Rosa spp.) are among the most beautiful and widely grown plants, with hundreds of varieties available to gardeners. Unfortunately, many of those varieties are susceptible to black spot, a fungal disease that manifests itself in the form of round black necrotic patches on the leaves of affected roses. Severely affected plants can lose all their leaves. An easy-to-make spray containing vinegar is one way to combat black spot. Roses are mainly hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 and warmer, depending on the variety.
The fungus that causes black spot, Diplocarpon rosae, has spores that are spread by wind from leaf to leaf and sometimes, if bushes are close together, from bush to bush. Affected leaves that fall to the ground deposit the spores in the soil, where they can survive even through cold winters. Black spot usually appears in early to midsummer, depending on climate zone and conditions. Hot, humid weather is conducive to its spread, as is a lack of adequate air circulation between rose stems and canes and between bushes.
California’s Huntington Botanical Garden and other institutions recommend a spray with ordinary white vinegar as a component to help eliminate black spot. To make the spray, combine 1 gallon water, 1 tablespoon each of white vinegar and baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of canola or superfine horticultural oil. Stir or shake the mixture well and pour it into a spray bottle. Pick off as many affected leaves as possible and destroy them, and then spray the vinegar mixture on affected bushes. The mixture works best on days when the temperature is below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Reapply it after rain.
The vinegar solution is an easy, ecologically sound way to combat black spot. Prevention in the form of good rose culture is equally important. Air circulation is critical, so prune in late winter to eliminate crossed and weak canes and to create an open, vase-shaped plant. When planting your roses, allow enough room to accommodate each bush’s mature size, with some extra room to ensure good air circulation. The late rosarian Peter Beales also advocated washing away spores by watering affected plants with overhead irrigation at least every 10 days, for about five hours per irrigation session.
Some roses are more susceptible to black spot than others. Yellow and yellow blend roses, in particular, inherited the susceptibility from their China rose ancestors. If black spot is a problem in your area, select yellow, yellow-blend and peach roses that are black spot resistant. One example is “Perle d’Or” (Rosa “Perle d’Or”), hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. It is a repeat-bloomer that grows 4 feet tall and wide, with golden apricot flowers. “Perle d’Or” was selected as one of Texas A&M University’s Earth-Kind roses, which are extremely hardy and disease-resistant.
Wine vinegars, whether red or white, are a ubiquitous ingredient in salad dressings, sauces, stews, and slow-roasted dishes. And, it is easy enough to pick up a bottle at your supermarket, but, as with most food products, a homemade version tastes better than a mass-produced, store-bought. Homemade wine vinegar will be stronger and more concentrated, with a more delicate, but complex flavor. This will not only improve the taste of your recipes, but homemade wine vinegar also makes a nice gift.
And it’s quite simple to make. (You may have even accidentally made wine vinegar in the past by leaving out an opened bottle of wine too long!) To start, you will need a good-quality wine (red or white) that’s not too strong (about 10 to 11 percent ABV); too much alcohol inhibits the activity of the bacteria that transform the wine into vinegar. On the other hand, if the alcohol content is too low, the vinegar won’t keep well. Depending on how much wine vinegar you’d like to make will determine the method you use.
Make 1 Bottle
The easiest way to make your own wine vinegar is to leave an open, 3/4-full bottle of wine in a warm place for a couple of weeks. It’s really that simple—the natural oxidation process will do all of the work. The only issue you may encounter is fruit flies. To avoid this, place a small piece of cheesecloth over the opening of the bottle.
Make a Steady Supply
To make larger amounts of wine vinegar you will need what is called a “mother” vinegar. This fermenting bacteria culture turns alcohol into acetic acid (in combination with oxygen) and can be purchased as “live” or “mother” vinegar or simply as an unpasteurized vinegar. You can also make your own mother vinegar by combining wine and vinegar and leaving it to ferment.
For a constant supply of vinegar, pour 1 quart (4 cups) of wine and 1 cup of the mother vinegar into a wide-mouthed glass jug with at least 1-gallon capacity. Cover the container with a piece of cheesecloth secured with a rubber band. In a couple of weeks, the live vinegar will have settled to the bottom of the jug, while the vinegar above it will be ready for use. Add more wine as you remove vinegar for use, to keep the level in the jug constant.
Make Large Batches
If you want to make wine vinegar in larger batches, you will need a 1-gallon glass or ceramic cask that has a spigot at one end. If it's new, rinse it with vinegar and let it dry. Next, fill it to within a couple of inches of the top with wine and place it, covered with cheesecloth, in a location that's about 68 F (20 C). In a couple of weeks, the wine will be vinegar. Drain it from the cask using the spigot. Replace the vinegar used with more wine, adding it into the cask through a hose or a funnel, so as to leave the mother undisturbed.
Homemade red wine vinegar has a much more complex, subtle flavor than most of the supermarket versions. It is fabulous in salad dressings, of course, but you can also use it to make herbal vinegars, agro-dulce (sour and sweet) sauces, or to perk up lentil and bean dishes.
Start with a red wine that you like to drink. It doesn't have to be expensive, but keep in mind that if you don't like the taste of the wine, you won't enjoy the taste of the vinegar either.
Once you get a batch going, you can maintain it with just the occasional splash of wine leftover at the bottom of a bottle or in glasses at the end of a party. But for your first batch of homemade vinegar, begin with 1 bottle/liter red wine.
You will also need 1 cup of raw vinegar with the "mother." The mother of the vinegar is Mycoderma aceti, the beneficial bacteria that transform alcohol into vinegar. You can buy vinegar mothers, but probably a simpler, cheaper approach is to buy raw, unpasteurized vinegar.
How to Make It
Combine the bottle of red wine with the cup of raw vinegar in a large glass, stainless steel, or ceramic container. The liquid should only fill the container 3/4 or less of the way full.
The vinegar bacteria need oxygen to do their work, which is why you want the air space. A wide-mouthed vessel such as a crock exposes your vinegar-in-progress to more air than a narrow-necked bottle and speeds up the process.
Cover the top of the container with cheesecloth or a clean dishtowel to keep out vinegar flies but allow air in. Place the container somewhere away from direct light.
Over the next couple of weeks, a gelatinous disk will form on the surface of the vinegar. This is the visible form of the vinegar mother. This blob will eventually sink to the bottom of the vinegar and a new one will form on the surface. This looks creepy but it is actually a sign that all is going well.
When is your vinegar ready? For immediate eating in salad dressings, etc., that's up to you. Sniff your vinegar every once in a while. When it starts to have a slightly sharp, vinegar-y smell, taste it. When it is as sour as you like your vinegar to be, go ahead and strain it, bottle it, and use it.
If, however, you want to use your homemade vinegar to safely pickle food, you will need to test it to verify that it is acidic enough to do the job.
Fire Cider is a popular (and tasty!) herbal folk remedy popularized by esteemed herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar (who inspired the recipe below). This tasty vinegar infusion powered by warming and wellness-supporting ingredients is an especially pleasant and easy way to boost natural health processes, stimulate digestion, and raise your internal thermostat on cold days. Mmm. mmm. how we love this hot and sweet, zesty, vinegary recipe!
Because this is a folk preparation, the ingredients can change from year to year depending on when you make it and what’s growing around you. The standard base ingredients are apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, and hot peppers, but there are plenty of other herbs that can be thrown in for added kick. This year there were lots of spicy jalapenos and vibrant rosemary in the garden, so we used those along with some organic turmeric powder and fresh lemon peel. Some people like to bury their fire cider jar in the ground for a month and then dig it up during a great feast to celebrate the changing of the seasons. We like to take a tablespoon each morning to help warm up or triple that if we feel the sniffles coming on.
Fire cider can be taken straight by the spoonful, added to organic veggie juice (throw in some olives and pickles for a non-alcoholic, healthy bloody mary!), splashed in fried rice, or drizzled on a salad with good olive oil. You can also save the strained pulp and mix it with shredded veggies like carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and fresh herbs to make delicious and aromatic stir-fries and spring rolls.
Classic Mountain Rose Herbs Fire Cider Recipe
- 1 medium organic onion, chopped
- 10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
- 2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
- Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root (or organic ginger root powder)
- 1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root (or organic horseradish powder)
- 1 Tbsp. organic turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp. organic cayenne powder
- 2 Tbsp. of dried rosemary leaves
- organic apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup of raw, local honey, or to taste
- Prepare your roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart-sized glass jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus-opening experience!
- Pour the apple cider vinegar in the jar until all of the ingredients are covered and the vinegar reaches the jar’s top.
- Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or a plastic lid if you have one. Shake well.
- Store in a dark, cool place for a month and remember to shake daily.
- After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquidy goodness as you can from the pulp while straining.
- Next comes the honey. Add and stir until incorporated.
- Taste your cider and add more honey until you reach the desired sweetness.
Fire Cider Variations
Want to stoke your inner fire with other flavor combos? Explore two more fire cider variations here on the blog:
Tom Kha Fire Cider Recipe
Quick Fire Cider Recipe
. or, check out Rosemary Gladstar’s amazing Fire Cider recipe book for 101 more fire cider starters!
Want More vinegar-based herbal remedies?
Make Our Four Thieves Vinegar Recipe!
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For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.
Written by Mason on September 29, 2017
Mason Hutchison is the founder of HerbRally, a podcast and website that promotes herbalism education and events. He has completed herbalism apprenticeships at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies and the Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical Studies. Mason is the Events & Outreach Strategist for Mountain Rose Herbs. His day-to-day work involves organizing community events such as the Free Herbalism Project, as well as attending herbal conferences throughout the country. He is the co-organizer of one of the longest running herbal events in the US, the Breitenbush Herbal Conference. He is also on the board of directors for the Eugene Tea Festival. He has previously volunteered for the Occupy Medical herb team and the Native Plant Society of Oregon – Emerald Chapter. Mason is a proud father, avid basketball and ping pong player, spring water gatherer, and an enthusiast in the art of frugal nutrition.