Pine Needle Vinegar

Pine Needle Vinegar Recipe

Winter has arrived and I’ve entered hibernation mode. Unlike a month or so ago where I was out foraging for pretty much everything I could lay my hands on, natures bounty is now rapidly dwindling away.

Pine Needles

Pine Needles

So, it was in this frame of mind that I stumbled across a recipe yesterday for Pine Needle Vinegar over on the fantastic The Cottage Smallholder blog. This in turn led me to the perhaps even more fantastic Eat Weeds blog, where it seems this recipe originates. It immediately caught my eye because while I haven’t used pine needles in cooking before, I have remarked how the smell reminds me of rosemary which is one of my favourite herbs due to its pungent aroma.

Pine Needle Vinegar

Pine Needle Vinegar. Behind and to the left is a bottle of my equally delicious Sea Buckthorn Vinegar.

I can’t comment on how it tastes yet as I have to leave it for a good 6 weeks – this will make it seasonally ready to use just in time for Christmas. According to Eat Weeds it gains a richness similar to balsamic vinegar and is great with fish. They also say it makes a great winter drink to fend of colds; one for those not put off by vinegar aromas, methinks!

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Recipe: Pine Needle Vinegar

Summary: Pine Needle Vinegar has a deep aroma and is great served with fish. It makes a great addition to your foraging recipe collection, too.


  • 500ml Cider Vinegar
  • Handful of washed and dried Pine Needles
  • 3 tbsp Brown Sugar


  1. Start by sterilising a 500ml jar or bottle. The way I do this is to wash in hot soapy water, then rinse and leave till dry in an oven at around 130 degrees c.
  2. While the bottle is sterilising, bring the cider vinegar to the boil in a saucepan and immediately turn off the heat. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  3. Remove the bottle from the oven and pack it full of pine needles; you’ll be able to squeeze in a lot more than you think!
  4. When the vinegar has cooled to be warm rather than hot, pour this into the bottle within just a couple of mm of the rim, then seal with a vinegar proof lid.
  5. Leave for approximately 6 weeks in a dark place then use when desired.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

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