Six weeks ago, I picked some of our treasured wild medicinal plants--Y'know, those things some folks refer to as weeds? Included among them was a harvest of fresh pine needles.
I had read this recipe in which a pine needle vinegar is made by combining apple cider vinegar and clean chopped pine needles.
So I gathered, cleaned, and snipped enough pine needles to pack into a jar, and covered it with an equal amount of ACV per the recipe instructions. The recipe specifies white pine needles, but its author and all the other herbal recipes I've found online say any type pine needle can be used, the flavor varying somewhat from astringent to pleasantly close to balsamic in flavor.
It was worth a try! So it's been jarred for 6 weeks, awaiting its debut...
Tonight was the night! I filtered it into a clean glass jar. And I have to say, it smelled delightful!
This first batch came to a little over a quart. (I used the correct proportions based on the recipe, but not the exact recipe measurements.) It has a very piney fragrance, and it does have a balsamic-y flavor minus the depth...it's much brighter. No, it does not taste like turpentine, ha! Even if it had, I'd have used it as a great homemade pine cleaner, but this batch is good enough to eat. I'm looking forward to substituting it for balsamic vinegar in some recipes.
It's so easy to make, it's definitely worth experimentation, and I will be making more!
Have you ever tried it? What's brewing/fermenting/cooking in your kitchen?