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Recipes & Ruminations

Here we share stories and recipes from the Cordial test kitchen.

Plum Blossom Vinegar

Jennifer Aikman

It's spring in the Pacific Northwest and the ornamental plum blossoms are positively frilly with blossoms. And as we all know, they're here for a good time, not a long time. So, now is the time to capture their sweet scent in a bottle. For the last couple of weeks, I've been experimenting with different ways to preserve the plum blossom's swoony sweetness. I came up with a heady cordial and a concentrated syrup that I've been adding to sparkling water, tea and even as a flavouring for the prettiest meringues you'll ever lay eyes on. I'll post recipes soon. But for right now, I can tell the trees are preparing to let loose a blossom blizzard. Time is of the flower essence. Enter plum blossom vinegar.


  • 2 cups of washed, de-crittered ornamental plum blossoms, lightly packed 
  • 1 cup white wine or champagne vinegar (use whatever kind you like - I used white because I really wanted pink vinegar)


Heat the vinegar in a small pot over low heat until it's warm. No need to boil here. Just imagine what boiling vinegar will do to those delicate little blossoms!

Sterilize a 500ml mason jar and ring. 

Put your blossoms in the jar and cover with warm vinegar.  

Let the vinegar cool and put a square of parchment or wax paper over the opening of the jar and screw on the ring. Vinegar and metal sometimes don't play nice together. 

Put your infusion in a dark cupboard and forget about it for two weeks minimum. Really, the longer you leave it the better. 

After your long patient wait, you pour the vinegar through a piece of muslin or a coffee filter to remove all the plant matter. 

Decant into a pretty bottle and pop a few fresh blossoms (if they're still around) into the bottle for the sake of prettiness. 

This vinegar smells like spring and has a fantastic tart, floral flavour. You will now make the best salad dressings of your life. Me? I love adding a teaspoon to sparkling water for a nice tart drink. And remember how I mentioned meringues earlier, a dash of this makes them more stable and imparts even more blossomy goodness. Furthermore, if you're the giving sort, this is a perfect gift for the people you really like. Mother's Day is coming up. It always is.