1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (optional)
4 cups white wine or rice vinegar
3 cups blackberries, blueberries or raspberries
Have ready a clean, large nonreactive bowl.
Thoroughly rinse the mint leaves, if using, and then pat dry with paper towels. Rough chop the leaves. In a nonreactive saucepan over low heat, warm the vinegar until hot but not yet simmering; do not let it boil. Remove from the heat. Place the berries and the mint, if using, in the bowl. Pour in the hot vinegar and stir to combine. Set aside to cool. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-4 weeks; the longer the vinegar stands, the stronger the flavors will be. Gently stir the vinegar every few days to blend the flavors.
Have ready hot, sterilized bottles.
Strain the vinegar through a fine-mesh sieve and then through a coffee filter. Using a funnel, pour the filtered vinegar into the bottles. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 months. Makes 2 one-pint bottles.
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