Llewellyn`s Premium Irish Cider Vinegar
Our cider vinegar (known as ‘apple cider vinegar’ in the US) is made from the same range of Irish apples which we use to make our cider. This vinegar has a rich amber colour and excellent flavour. It is naturally allowed to clear with time, and is not filtered. Key to the quality of our cider vinegar is that we make it by fermenting pure apple juice. Just as mass-produced cider is usually made by ‘cheating’ using water and sugar to cheaply bulk up the pre-fermentation volume, mass-produced cider vinegar is often produced using this same method. Our cider vinegar starts off as pure apple juice, which is then first fermented to top quality cider, before finally being fermented to vinegar.
Many people bestow great value on the live ‘mother’ of vinegar, which is the natural bacterial culture within the vinegar itself. These bacteria are responsible for converting the alcohol in the cider into acetic acid in the first place. In virtually all mass-produced vinegars, these bacteria are killed by heat treatment and sulphites, and are then removed by filtration, along with any other fine particles in the vinegar. We do not filter our cider vinegar, and we do not kill the bacteria, so that our vinegar contains the living ‘mother’ culture. This usually becomes visible some time after bottling, as strands or a jelly-like blob within the bottle. This is of course completely harmless, and is proof of the living bacterial ‘mother’.
Many people use our vinegar as a daily health tonic or to give relief from arthritic problems or other ailments, but I personally use it mostly in the kitchen, and I never make a salad without it! Although its most popular use is for salad dressings, it can be substituted whereever wine vinegar is called for. You can use it in marinades, pickling, sauces, mayonaise, and even on chips! It is available not only in bottles, but also from the orchard in 5 litre or 20 litre containers for use as a nutritional supplement for horses, cattle, poultry and greyhounds.