Rose Petal and Raspberry Infused Vinegar

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that I have just as much fun with my spice cabinet as with my perfume collection. Whenever I catch the aromas of cardamom, vanilla, saffron and allspice that escape from the little jars, I feel as much exhilaration as  I do from my Serge Lutens and Guerlains. So, I indulge both passions. I love making cardamom flavored coffee for the rich perfume of spicy lemon the green pods give off when I pound them in a mortar. Adding vanilla extract to my morning yogurt, I can’t help sneaking a dab on my wrist as well so that I can enjoy its sweet, creamy perfume during my commute. It’s satisfying, uplifting and inspiring.

One of the ways to link cooking and perfumery is to make your own spice mixtures or infused vinegars. The expensive vinegars at Dean & Deluca and other gourmet stores no longer tempt me, because I know that they can  be prepared easily and customized to my own liking. Having a couple of bottles of aromatic vinegars in my pantry makes it easy to create variety in our daily meals and experiment with flavors. I look forward to the bitter orange season to make a bitter orange and tarragon vinegar, and I am already anticipating next summer to try a mirabelle plum and star anise version. Today I would like to share my favorite combination for an infused vinegar–rose and raspberry.

Rose and  raspberry color the pale gold of white wine vinegar with a vibrant red, and since vinegar picks up flavors well,  the taste will be rich and full-bodied. The combination is not just pretty, it is harmonious; the rose and raspberry share many of the same components, and together they form a complex and intricate bouquet. No wonder that in perfumery it’s one of the beloved duos–just recall the velvety roses touched with raspberry in Frédéric Malle Lipstick RoseL’Artisan Drôle de Rose, Parfum d’Empire Eau Suave, and Comme des Garçons Rose.

The warm raspberry note will be the main accent, with the citrusy and honeyed rose adding an intriguing twist. The tart vinegar will taste softer and more velvety thanks to the natural sweet violet nuances present in both rose and raspberry, and while the flavor might seem more suited for a dessert, this vinegar is nevertheless versatile. It can be used to dress greens, boiled root vegetables and poached seafood.

Mixed with olive oil, shallots and herbs of your choice, a rose-raspberry vinegar adds a tart fruity note to a vinaigrette. Drizzle it over sliced onions and use them to marinate chicken, pork chops or salmon before grilling. It can even be made into a great thirst quencher when diluted with water. The best part is that rose and raspberry vinegar smells like summer itself. What could be better on a cold, rainy day?

Rose Petal and Raspberry Infused Vinegar

I use dried rose with good results. If you have fresh, fragrant rose petals, by all means, use them instead.

Unlike making a flavored oil, there are few safety issues with infused vinegar. The acetic acid will inhibit the growth of bacteria, and the main reason I recommend storing your vinegar in the fridge is to keep the delicate rose and raspberry flavors fresh and vibrant.

Makes 2 cups

2 cups white wine vinegar (or any other mildly flavored variety)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup dried rose petals (or 1 cup fresh petals)

Sterilize a canning jar by rinsing it with hot water and putting it, still wet, in an oven preheated to 250F/120C. Bake for 20 minutes, remove and cool.

Fill the jar with vinegar and the rest of the ingredients. Cover with a lid and leave in a cool, dark place to infuse for a week. Strain out the solids. The vinegar will last several months if covered well and refrigerated.

Vinaigrette with Rose Petal-Raspberry Vinegar, Honey and Shallots

What follows are a couple of my favorite recipes on using the rose-raspberry vinegar. The honey and shallot vinaigrette is great on beets, carrots, potatoes and other root vegetables. It also enhances the sweet flavor of tomatoes. I often use it on boiled beets, green beans and fresh tomatoes and serve this salad either by itself with a piece  of baguette or as a side dish to grilled chicken or steak.

1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons rose-raspberry vinegar or other vinegar of your choice, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon light flavored honey
Salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tablespoon basil, minced

Cover shallots with vinegar and let them macerate for a few minutes to soften the oniony bite. You can strain out the shallots or leave them in. Add the rest of the ingredients, taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Marinade with Rose Petal-Raspberry Vinegar and Onions

This marinade can be used on chicken, pork, turkey or fish. The quantities are enough for 2lbs/1kg of meat. Once you are ready to cook, remove meat from the marinade, pat it dry with a paper towel, and season with salt. It can then be grilled, broiled or pan-fried.

1 onion, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons rose-raspberry vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (for poultry or meat)
1/2 teaspoon crushed pink pepper (for fish)

I like to prepare my marinades in a plastic bag to save on clean up. In a large plastic bag combine onions and the rest of the ingredients. Add the meat of your choice, coating it well with marinade. Seal bag, and refrigerate 2-24 hours.

Do you make your flavored vinegars or oils? Do you have your preferred combinations?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin.

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62 Comments

  • Camille: Bonjour, Victoria!

    It looks beautiful! We still have raspberries and if I find rose petals I’m making it.

    This reminded me of my grandmother’s vinaigre des quatre voleurs. She was very proud of it and everyone in the family was presented with a bottle at Christmas. Her recipe is very complicated and uses more than 10 different aromas.

    Camille October 11, 2012 at 7:28am Reply

    • Barbara: Can you please tell us what’s vinaigre des quatre voleurs? Sounds unusual. October 11, 2012 at 9:08am Reply

      • Camille: It’s a vinegar with herbs and spices that we use in cooking. I always thought that it was our family invention, but maybe not. My grand-mère always said that it can be like medicine. October 12, 2012 at 5:39am Reply

    • Victoria: I also would love to find out more about your grandmother’s vinegar recipe, Camille. I’ve heard of vinaigre des quatre voleurs before, and I’ve seen recipes in the old Russian books. Except in those books it’s often called the vinegar of 40 thieves (not just 4!) October 11, 2012 at 9:59am Reply

      • Bela: Was that what Ali Baba’s wife used to cheer up her cooking? 😉 October 11, 2012 at 1:31pm Reply

        • Victoria: 🙂 That’s a good one, Bela!

          I just opened one of the Russian cookbooks from the late 19th century, and I found a recipe. It calls for herbs like artemisia, rosemary, sage, peppermint, rue, spearmint, lavender, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and a couple of other ingredients I can’t identify even in Russian. October 11, 2012 at 2:48pm Reply

          • Camille: 40 thieves! How funny!

            I don’t remember the exact recipes, but ours used thyme, tarragon, garlic, clove, capucine, sorry, I don’t know the English name. I’m asking my mother now, I’ll let you know. October 12, 2012 at 5:42am Reply

            • Victoria: Thank you very much, Camille! October 12, 2012 at 7:07am Reply

  • Zoe: Wow, looks great! The recipe is so simple too. I was curious to learn that raspberry and rose are often used together in perfumes. You have one of my favourites on your list: Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose. I might just have to try making this vinegar. October 11, 2012 at 8:53am Reply

    • Victoria: They have a natural affinity, which is why this pairing works so well. Lipstick Rose is also one of my favorites from the perfumes I’ve listed. October 11, 2012 at 9:57am Reply

  • Michael: Lovely ideas here, but I must say, your photographs are absolutely stunning! October 11, 2012 at 9:04am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Michael! Food is fun to photograph, because it has so many colors and textures. October 11, 2012 at 9:54am Reply

  • Barbara: Thank you for these great ideas! I love raspberry balsamic vinegar (store bought), but I’m now inspired to make my own. October 11, 2012 at 9:05am Reply

    • Victoria: I used to buy cherry flavored balsamic condiment, as it was called, and I loved it. But anyway, your own infused vinegar is very easy to make. October 11, 2012 at 9:52am Reply

  • Anne: V, I wanted to tell you that I made your biscotti this weekend with my daughter and everyone loved them. I’m not much of a baker, but these were so easy and they came out well, if I may say so myself. Next time I’m making a double batch!
    Now I’m curious to try making my own vinegar. You’re turning me into a gourmet cook. :)) October 11, 2012 at 9:22am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m so happy to hear that the biscotti were a success! It’s an easy recipe, and you can experiment with different spices and flavors endlessly. Thank you for letting me know. October 11, 2012 at 9:50am Reply

  • Natalie: I make tarragon and basil vinegar. It never ocurred to me to infuse vinegar with fruit. I need to try it. Thanks for a tip. October 11, 2012 at 10:15am Reply

    • Victoria: You’re welcome! Fruit is great for infusing vinegar. I’ve tried sour cherries before, peaches, plums, strawberries. October 11, 2012 at 11:46am Reply

  • Nikki: Beautiful Victoria! Thank you for nice color and scent! I will try this recipe, too. It looks so pretty. It reminds me of making “Rumtopf”, an alcoholic drink made over months by steeping fresh fruit of the season in spirits and sugar to be used over pudding or ice cream or mixed with wine or champagne. October 11, 2012 at 10:28am Reply

    • Victoria: This one is easy to make, as it only takes one week with delicate berries and rose petals. But even after a day you notice how perfumed the vinegar becomes.

      Rumtopf sounds fascinating! What kind of fruits do you use? October 11, 2012 at 11:47am Reply

  • NeenaJ: Homemade bottles of rose and raspberry vinegar would make lovely Christmas presents. Thanks for the inspiration! October 11, 2012 at 10:35am Reply

    • Victoria: They really do make great Christmas presents, and most people can’t believe that you’ve actually made it yourself. But in reality it can’t be easier! October 11, 2012 at 11:48am Reply

  • Anna Minis: Hallo Victoria! Scherrer has been discontinued, I was told. But I was lucky enough to find a bottle. This is dark green, indeed. So that post was not only great fun, but also helpful. Thank you very much for this recomandation! October 11, 2012 at 10:36am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m so happy to hear this, Anna! Hurray! You found your dark green perfume. October 11, 2012 at 11:49am Reply

      • Nikki: Is this the original Scherrer? My favorite green perfume, the best! October 11, 2012 at 12:51pm Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, that’s the one I recommended to Anna, and I’m so happy that she loved it. Isn’t it wonderful! October 11, 2012 at 2:39pm Reply

          • Nikki: I had ordered the edt from ebay very cheaply, but it smelled terrible. Now I ordered the eau de parfum from amazon, hoping it is like the perfume I loved in the extrait version in 1987! October 11, 2012 at 10:36pm Reply

            • Victoria: Was it turned or just reformulated badly? I’ve smelled Scherrer at Planet Parfum, and I thought that it was still lovely. But now I don’t remember what concentration it was. October 12, 2012 at 7:08am Reply

              • Anna Minis: I bought the Eau de Toilette in a shop in Amsterdam. It has really a dark green atmosphere, perhaps reformulated, I don’t know, but as it is , a very good perfume. I love it! October 13, 2012 at 5:31am Reply

                • Victoria: I’m so glad. Scherrer has been one of my favorite green chypres for a while, but it’s so difficult to find that I never bothered reviewing it. Maybe, I should anyway… October 13, 2012 at 7:16am Reply

  • J’Nee: Thanks for the inspiration for a new shrub. Shrubs are drinking vinegars flavored with fruit, and as I make them, herbs. Rose and raspberry are two of my favorite flavors and should make an incredible shrub. October 11, 2012 at 11:31am Reply

    • Victoria: I had no idea about it being called shrub. Thank you for this tidbit.

      My Azeri aunt often makes a refreshing drink by mixing water, vinegar, cucumber slices, mint and some sugar. Almost like a lemonade, but a fresh, green note. October 11, 2012 at 11:50am Reply

  • Daisy: Looks wonderful! What gorgeous color!

    I have done this with delicate chive blossoms, but never with fruit or flowers. I always learn something reading your blog! Thanks, Victoria! October 11, 2012 at 11:56am Reply

    • Victoria: The first time I made it, I was surprised by the color. I really didn’t expect it to be so vibrant!

      The chive blossom vinegar sounds fantastic! I discovered chive blossoms at my favorite stand in the Union Square market, and I’ve experimented with them all spring long. Now, I can’t wait till the spring to try infusing vinegar with them. Thank you, Daisy! Would one week be long enough for chive blossoms, or do you leave them in longer? October 11, 2012 at 12:12pm Reply

      • Daisy: I think we got them at the same stand in Union Square! Yes, I leave them for one week, and they turn the vinegar the most exquisite color. I have heard that you can leave them in for two, but I haven’t tried that.

        The first time I tried it, I used coconut vinegar because I was out of white wine vinegar. It worked weirdly well! October 11, 2012 at 12:14pm Reply

        • Victoria: Bodhitree stand, by any chance?

          Coconut vinegar is so good! It’s mild, has a great flavor and costs something like .99 cents at the Asian grocery stores. Ah, the NYC Chinatown shopping. How I miss it! October 11, 2012 at 12:22pm Reply

          • Daisy: Yes! Exactly!

            I wonder if we ever passed each other walking around the city . . . October 11, 2012 at 12:26pm Reply

            • Victoria: How I miss that stand and Nevi, the owner! She has the best produce. If you see her selling purple sweet potatoes, do go for them. They taste like chestnuts and have the most vivid purple color I’ve ever seen. October 11, 2012 at 2:38pm Reply

              • Daisy: Oooh, yum. I will! October 11, 2012 at 4:57pm Reply

  • Amer: This is beautiful! Thanks for the idea. I have only infused vinegar with dried herbs so far and my most daring twist was adding lavender in the mix once. It went great with rocket and spinach salad btw with roasted sesame, honey, oil, black pepper and sauteed button mushrooms.
    You seem to be much more daring and experimental!
    Do you crush the berries when you strain them or try to keep them whole? October 11, 2012 at 12:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: Lavender sounds great! I will have to try it too. Professional flavorists often use floral flavors in the most unlikely scenarios, just as an accent. The floral notes can lend such surprising depth and complexity, but only when used with a very light hand. So, I prefer to infuse rose petals, rather than add rosewater to the vinaigrette.

      I wouldn’t recommend crushing the berries, since that would cloud the vinegar. Simply strain out the solids, and then decant the vinegar into clean bottles, leaving any sediment behind. And then if you can’t bear to toss the berries, you can press them and use the juice to flavor vinaigrettes and marinades. October 11, 2012 at 12:08pm Reply

      • Amer: About the lavender, I have also made a lavender flavored cream for dessert and a lavender margarita. I am constantly making floral recipes and I plan on making a whole menu at some point.

        About the clouding part. Does it matter? I mean you never see the vinegar in the dish anyway. I have seen these very expensive fruity vinegars in gourmet shops (I actually spotted a passion fruit infusion just before I read this article) and they were all cloudy. My concern about crushing the berries was that it would mean adding water to the vinegar and therefore make it go bad sooner. October 11, 2012 at 6:45pm Reply

        • Victoria: My infused vinegars are usually clear, even if not completely transparent. But it really depends. If you mix in something pulpy like passion fruit, it will be cloudy. And some sediment is ok, that’s normal. But too much sediment will affect the keeping qualities, so it’s not just about having extra water.

          I sometimes blend lavender to fine powder and mix it in with granulated sugar. It makes a great topping for scones, cookies or just yogurt. Your floral menu idea sounds great. October 12, 2012 at 7:15am Reply

  • Jillie: This is perfect for me, being a rose addict! I often use bought raspberry vinegar for my salad dressing, and I have been mixing that with my rose olive oil. I also add garlic, several big squeezes of lime juice, a dash of pomegranate molasses and a teaspoon of honey. It zings things up. But my own homemade raspberry and rose vinegar would be delicious …… Thank you for the inspiration. October 11, 2012 at 12:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: The homemade raspberry vinegar is so much better, because you can choose the vinegar base yourself. And well, it’s just fresher, more interesting.
      I also make the pomegranate dressing, having learned it from my friend’s book on Lebanese cooking (Lebanese Cuisine: More Than 250 Authentic Recipes From The Most Elegant Middle Eastern Cuisine by Anissa Helou). I love your idea of adding raspberry vinegar to it, and I will have to try it too. I imagine that it would taste even fruitier, with more zing. October 11, 2012 at 2:43pm Reply

      • Nikki: Pomegranate dressing? Sounds great! I love Pomegrate trees, having had some in my garden for the first time I was so taken by their poppy red blossoms, and the almost plastic like start of the bud turning into these huge balls of garnet like kernels. Pomegranates really are amazing! October 11, 2012 at 10:39pm Reply

        • Victoria: Then you would enjoy pomegranate molasses. They are available from the Middle Eastern stores, and it’s a common condiment that adds a tart-fruity note to dishes. You can use it by itself as a dipping sauce for grilled meat and fish.

          And I agree, pomegranates are amazing. October 12, 2012 at 7:16am Reply

          • Daisy: You can also make it if you are in a bind and can’t get to a place that has it: just pomegranate juice and sugar over low heat till it turns thick and syrupy! October 14, 2012 at 1:37am Reply

            • Victoria: That’s true, Pom juice would work. My Azeri aunt makes it back home with the special sour pomegranates (no sugar added), so her molasses have a nice tartness.

              I haven’t made pomegranate molasses myself, but I’ve made saba by reducing grape juice until it’s thick and syrupy. It was so good on yogurt or toasted bread! October 14, 2012 at 6:30am Reply

  • Caro: Thank you for sharing, Victoria. It sounds delicious. October 11, 2012 at 1:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: Hope that you can try it, Caro. It’s really a simple recipe, but the results are really luxurious. October 11, 2012 at 2:44pm Reply

  • Ksenija: mmmm.. this is yummy! I love infused vinegars! It is such an efficient and in-expensive way to breath in a whole new range of flavors to daily meals! At this moment, I am using my latest concoction – infusion of strawberry, peach, ginger and mint. October 11, 2012 at 2:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: Strawberry, peach, ginger and mint sounds wonderful, Ksenija! I love the idea of zingy aromatics like mint and ginger with fruit. It’s definitely on my list to make. Thank you. Do you use fresh ginger or dried? October 11, 2012 at 2:49pm Reply

      • Ksenija: I used fresh ginger. Just be careful with mint (I also used fresh, the Marrocan mint), the taste is quite strong and can over power the fruits. I use 5 leaves for 750 ml of vinegar and I think now I could do with even less. October 11, 2012 at 3:07pm Reply

        • Victoria: That’s a good reminder, thank you. I still remember a strawberry mint jam I made once, using peppermint. It tasted distinctly of toothpaste, not good. October 11, 2012 at 3:17pm Reply

  • Andy: I used to make flavored vinegars, but in recent years I’ve fallen off from making them. This reminds me of just how tasty they can be. I’ll have to make this recipe as soon as possible, because the thought of the ionones forming an aromatic bridge between the rose and raspberry flavors makes me especially tempted. I don’t typically like any salad dressings heavier than a vinaigrette, so this vinegar on its own or in your recipe would be perfect for me! October 11, 2012 at 3:54pm Reply

    • Andy: I was just thinking of another great idea I’d like to try—tea infused vinegars! A Lapsang Souchong infused variety on cedar plank grilled salmon, a jasmine green tea variety for young salad greens, etc…now I am very tempted to try this. October 12, 2012 at 6:15am Reply

      • Victoria: Andy, that sounds so delicious! I hope that you try it and then share your recipes with all of us. October 12, 2012 at 7:17am Reply

  • Leah: This is such a lovely post. I feel the same way about spices and especially love “layered” flavors, like curries and chai teas and chutneys, which is similar to my “taste” in fragrance. I actually just read this week that the Morrocan spice Ras el Hanout often includes orris root, so I guess many people share this connection! I have not made an infused vinegar but often make savory olive oil “rubs”. My favorite is one for Thanksgiving using rosemary, sage, thyme, etc. After seeing these beautiful photos, I think I must try my hand at vinegar. October 11, 2012 at 4:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Leah. I’ve been planning to make ras el hanout with orris root for a while. In Italy I’ve tasted chocolate flavored with orris root, and it was a great combination. It has such a complex flavor.

      I hope that you can try the vinegar. Making it is easy, and it looks so beautiful–ruby red or fuschia pink, depending on the coloring of your roses and berries. October 12, 2012 at 7:19am Reply

  • Jan Last: What a fabulous post! When I was a girl, my Aunt taught me to make “little pots” Water, a neutral vinegar, then flowers or spices or herbs, simmmered on the stove for a bit, until the house was fragrant. she claimed the oils in the flowers and spices helped “put down” any off odors in a house. October 11, 2012 at 7:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: Jan, what an interesting idea! When I moved to my new apartment, I was unpleasantly surprised to discover that one of the rooms smelled faintly of smoke. My grandmother told me to run the walls, floors and ceiling with the solution of vinegar. After a couple of rubs, the smell vanished completely! So, I can imagine that your Aunt’s treatment likewise worked like magic. Probably even better, since she added flowers and herbs to the vinegar. October 12, 2012 at 7:22am Reply

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