Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen Wand

Floral Infused Vinegars

There are two different types of floral infused vinegars that often garner oohs and aahs due to their unusual colour, for something edible. They are wild violet blossoms and chive flowers and they will both be available soon, if they are not blooming already. Violets are available in my part of the world, depending on the weather, late February to mid March. Chives are already up about eight inches, so their blossoms won’t be far away either.

The process is the same for both options and they both create a lovely fuchsia hued vinegar that, like wine, will change from year to year, based on the previous few months weather and how far along in the season they are picked. Try for a mixture of bugs and just opened blossoms.

Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen Wand

You will need:

Fresh flowers

A good quality mild and light coloured vinegar

Remember that the colour of your vinegar will be part of the final product colour. A smooth white or a white wine vinegar are options as is rice wine vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can be a little too yellow but see what is on your store’s shelves.

Give the freshly picked flowers a little time so that the any very small bugs can find a new home. There are two on the bottom left hand side of the picture below that don’t need to be in my vinegar. Just return them to the garden.

Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen WandChoosing quantities can be an issue and sometimes, if you have a small patch of chives for example, there are just not enough flowers and you will need to wing it when creating a smaller batch.

Chives can aid with digestives issues and are magically connected to healing, protection and lust. That said this quote by Marcus Valerius Martialis around 80 A.D. is worth bearing in mind,”He who bears chives on his breathe, is safe from being kissed to death“.

Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen WandThe idea is to gently pack the jar being used and then fill with warm vinegar to cover the blossoms.

I was blessed this year with a friend’s huge patches of dark toned violets and her trip to the east coast. She was not going to be here and said I could pick as many as I wanted. Yeah me!

3 1/2 cups later, after a spring rain, I was ready to start.Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen WandGently rinse the blooms, lay them out on a paper toweled cookie tray and let then dry off.

Go through the bounty and take out any flowers that are not in good condition. Pick off the stems and transfer the clipped flowers to another tray, also with paper towel, to continue drying.

Two of the most often used purposes for wild violets are beauty and love. Greek and Roman legends include several myths that mention violets, as do Christian traditions. Like chives, also connected to protection and healing (particularly a broken heart), violets are also used in peace, money, faithfulness and wish spells.

“The tender violet bent in smiles to elves that sported nigh, tossing the drops of fragrant dew to scent the evening sky.”

Elizabeth Oakes Smith, The Sinless Child

Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen WandWait until they are dry and then transfer the blooms to a clean dry jar. I like to put mine through the dishwasher cycle if I can plan ahead. The blossoms do not stay fresh for too long, so processing them as quickly as possible is a good idea. The fresher the better.

In the end, there were (lucky me) too many blossoms for one jar, so I divided them into two jars (that were each just over half full, lightly packed) and used 500ml/2 cups of vinegar, 1 cup into each container.

While they are drying, pour the vinegar into a small pot and warm. Do not let boil, just heat until the steam is beginning to be visible.

Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen WandPlace the flowers into the container and pour to vinegar on top. Using a spoon, press them down until you know they have been fully immersed. The blossoms will naturally float but getting them drenched will help weigh them down.Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen WandThis is about 18 hours later and the colours have begun to transfer and deepen. It takes this long because the vinegar had a yellowy hue and the pink needs to become strong enough to overcome the original colour.

The lids have a layer of paper towel between them and the vinegar to eliminate interactions between the two. I also made sure the bottles remained upright and were not tipped so the paper towel stayed dry..

Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen WandBy day three the vinegar has deepened even more. Two to five days will do the trick, depending on the tone you are looking for, the colour in the blossoms themselves and the starting colour of the vinegar.Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen WandWhen ready, gently pour the contents through a sieve and transfer the liquid contents to a finishing bottle. Let the blossoms drip for at least 15 minutes to get all the goodness into the bottle. The flowers can now be composted.

Use the vinegar for a wide range of tasty salad dressings, refreshing summer drinks and mayonnaise. I would not suggest cooking with it. Although the flavour will remain in the dish, the colour will disappear.

This is last years finished chive blossom vinegar.Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen WandAnd this is this years bottled wild violet vinegar. It was one of the best batches I have made in years, full of aroma with an amazingly deep colour.

Infusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen WandInfusing Floral Vinegars from My Kitchen Wand

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