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Easy Strawberry Top Vinegar: Recipe to Use Scraps

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Turn food scraps into a delicious strawberry-infused vinegar with this simple recipe. Strawberry top vinegar is a great way to prevent food waste and add a unique ingredient to your flavor arsenal.

a jar of strawberry top vinegar and fresh strawberries

There’s nothing better than strawberry season (okay, except tomato season)! As soon as these delightful red berries are ready to enjoy in the spring and summer, I buy tons of them to add to everything. Drinks, desserts, breakfasts, and even salads are made better with fresh strawberries.

Of course, cutting up a bunch of strawberries every week makes a lot of strawberry top waste. I’m all for composting and feeding scraps to the chickens, but I like using scraps even more. 

This easy strawberry top vinegar is a great way to turn those fruit scraps into something useful. It’s a game-changer during strawberry season!

looking down on a jar of strawberry tops and a cutting board with fresh strawberries

Why You’ll Love It

Flavorful: The sweetness of the strawberries infused in tangy vinegar is a very different flavor that adds a unique flair to a variety of meals. This vinegar is one of my favorite ways to add some extra flavor to a dish that typically has regular vinegar.

Super Easy: This recipe takes two ingredients and just a few steps to make strawberry vinegar that will enhance many meals to come.

Prevent Food Waste: This vinegar is a great way to use fruit scraps that would otherwise go to waste. Who doesn’t love making something beautiful and useful out of waste?!

A Note on Cutting Strawberries

When you are cutting your strawberries with the intention of making vinegar, be sure to leave some of the strawberry flesh on each top. Infusing just the leaves will not make a tasty vinegar. There is no need to intentionally leave a large portion of the strawberry (that would defeat the purpose), but make sure there is a small bit of red flesh on each.

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a jar of strawberry tops with a cutting board of strawberries in the background

What You’ll Need

Strawberry tops: These are just what they sound like: the top portion of the strawberry! When you cut the leaves off of your berries, save them to make this vinegar.

Vinegar: I prefer a clear vinegar such as white wine vinegar, regular distilled vinegar, or rice vinegar. The pink color of the strawberries is able to shine when the vinegar is uncolored. You can also use apple cider vinegar if you prefer, but the color will be different.

Jar: Use a glass jar with a glass or plastic lid for best results. The vinegar causes metal mason jar lids to corrode, so it’s best to avoid metal. If you need to use regular metal jar lids, place a sheet of parchment paper between the jar and the lid to block the vinegar from touching the metal.

Fine mesh strainer: This is the easiest tool to strain the tops out of the vinegar when it’s done infusing. You can also use coffee filters or simply spoon the tops out.

How to Make Strawberry Top Vinegar

Be sure to always wash your strawberries very well before making strawberry top vinegar. I recommend using organic strawberries whenever possible as well. You can wash your strawberries with a fruit wash, vinegar, or baking soda to remove pesticide residue, dirt, etc. 

Once you have collected your strawberry tops, place them in a glass jar. Fill the jar with just enough vinegar to just cover the strawberry tops. I like to use as little vinegar as possible so the strawberry flavor is as strong as possible.

a hand cutting strawberries on a wooden cutting board
White vinegar being drizzled into a jar of strawberry tops

Place the lid on your jar and let it infuse for 2-7 days in a cool, dark place. You can check the flavor or just go off of color to decide when your vinegar is done infusing.

Strain the strawberry tops from the vinegar with a fine mesh strainer, coffee filter, or just a spoon. Bottle the vinegar in an airtight container and store it at room temperature. Toss the strawberry tops in your compost pile.

Use your vinegar in salad dressings and more!

Uses for Strawberry Top Vinegar

This infused vinegar is a delicious addition to a variety of dishes! It adds a unique fruity element to traditionally savory dishes. Here are just a few ideas for this versatile vinegar:

  • Make a homemade vinaigrette with the vinegar. My favorite is the strawberry salad dressing for this simple summer berry salad.
  • Add the vinegar to marinades and sauces, such as homemade BBQ sauce.
  • Use it to make a unique pickling brine.
  • Make a quick fresh fruit salsa with fruit, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, and a splash of strawberry top vinegar to serve with grilled fish or chicken.
  • Use it as a light dressing on a fruit salad.
a cutting board with strawberries and a knife on it

Related Recipes

a jar of strawberry top vinegar and fresh strawberries

Strawberry Top Vinegar

Yield: 1 cup
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Turn food scraps into a delicious strawberry-infused vinegar with this simple recipe. Strawberry top vinegar is a great way to prevent food waste and add a unique ingredient to your flavor arsenal.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup strawberry tops
  • 1 cup vinegar of choice*

Instructions

  1. Wash strawberries well with fruit wash, vinegar, or baking soda before cutting.
  2. Place the strawberry tops in a clean jar and fill with enough vinegar to completely cover the tops.
  3. Secure a plastic or glass lid onto the jar. If you use a metal lid, place a sheet of parchment paper under the lid to prevent corrosion.
  4. Place the jar in a cool, dark place and allow the vinegar to infuse for 2-3 days. After a few days, check the vinegar. If you want a stronger strawberry flavor, allow it to infuse for up to a week.
  5. When the vinegar is flavored to your liking, strain the tops out of the vinegar with a fine mesh sieve. Compost the strawberry tops.
  6. Bottle the infused vinegar and store it at room temperature. Use in salad dressings, marinades, and more.

Notes

*I recommend a clear vinegar such as white distilled, white wine, or rice vinegar.

a jar of strawberry infused vinegar

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