Take the stalks from the fruit which should be of a highly flavoured sort, quite ripe, fresh from the beds, and gathered in dry weather; weigh and put it into large glass jars, or wide-necked bottles, and to each pound pour about
In from two to four days drain off the liquid very closely, and after having strained it through a linen or a flannel bag, weigh it, and mix with it an equal quantity of highly-refined sugar roughly powdered; when this is nearly dissolved, stir the syrup over a very clear fire until it has boiled for five minutes, and skim it thoroughly; pour it into a delicately clean stone pitcher, or into large china jugs, throw a thick folded cloth over and let it remain until the morrow. Put it into pint or half-pint bottles, and cork them lightly with new velvet corks; for if these be pressed in tightly at first, the bottles will sometimes burst:* in four or five days they may be closely corked, and stored in a dry and cool place. Damp destroys the colour and injures the flavour of these fine fruit-vinegars, of which a spoonful or two in
Obs.—Where there is a garden the fruit may be thrown into the vinegar as it ripens, within an interval of forty-eight hours, instead of being all put to infuse at once, and it must then remain in it a proportionate time: one or two days in addition to that specified will make no difference to the preparation. The enamelled stewpans are the best possible vessels to boil it in: but it may be simmered in a stone jar set into a pan of boiling water, when there is nothing more appropriate at hand; though the syrup does not usually keep so well when this last method is adopted.
Raspberries and strawberries mixed will make a vinegar of very pleasant flavour; black currants also will afford an exceedingly useful syrup of the same kind
* For these fine acidulated fruit-syrups vinegar of the purest quality, but only of medium strength, is required.
* We have known this to occur, but it has been when bought fruit has been used for the preparation.