Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) vinegar is fantastic added to salad dressings. It can also be used as a thirst quencher on a hot day, and is excellent as a hot drink when you have a cold or the flu.
When you notice a cold looming, take 1 tablespoon of blackberry vinegar in a cup of hot water, or drink 2-3 cups a day if your cold is full-blown.
Pick 1lb of blackberries. Remove the stalks, use only the berries.
Put the blackberries in an earthenware dish. Make sure they are no more than 2 inches deep.
Pour on enough cider vinegar to cover them.
Now cover with a dish and leave for 3 to 5 days, depending on how time-strapped you are. Leaving them longer will simply impart a stronger bramble flavour.
Now grab a muslin bag (a jelly bag is perfect for this), and strain the blackberries for twelve hours.
Get a saucepan, and for every 1/2 pint of juice, add 1/2lb of sugar.
Bring the liquid up to boil, while at the same time stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Once boiling, simmer for five minutes.
If a frothy scum (sounds appealing!) appears on the top of the blackberry liquid, skim it off.
Wait for the liquid to cool before pouring into a suitable bottle.
Robin is a forager and self-taught ethnobotanist. He specialises in wild edible plants and has been running foraging courses throughout the UK since 2008. He travels extensively documenting and recording the traditional and local uses of wild food plants in indigenous cultures.