Q. Help! We are enjoying all the lovely summer fruits that are around right now. I’m wondering if there is anything we can do with all the leftover fruit scraps?

A. Yes, you can turn fruit scraps into vinegar! Bruised fruit, and even skins, tops, and cores, can be made into flavored vinegars. All you need is some sugar and time.

Fruit-scrap vinegars take minutes to prepare and last for years. You can use these sweet, acidy mixtures in salad dressings, marinades, or drinks like shrubs (or even cocktails).

You can combine all of your fruit scraps to make a mixed vinegar, or you can experiment with just one or two fruits. Berries make particularly good vinegars.

Fruit Scrap Vinegar

1 to 2 cups strawberry tops or other fruit scraps
1/2 cup sugar, divided
8 cups water

1. Put the fruit scraps in a half-gallon glass jar. Add 1/4 cup sugar.
2. Fill the jar with water and stir well. Cover the jar with a coffee filter or clean cloth and secure with a rubber band.
3. Stir the contents of the jar daily. After a couple of days, add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar to the jar and stir well to incorporate. Continue to stir the contents of the jar daily.
4.   In about 2 to 3 weeks the vinegar should have developed. Test by smell and taste.
5.   Strain out the fruit and pour the vinegar in a clean glass jar or bottle (preferably tinted) with tight fitting lid. Store in a cool dark place.

Note: These directions are intended to be basic guidelines for making fruit vinegars. If you are new to fermentation, you can find more information on making and storing vinegar here.