When it comes to details I think that personalization is key. When you’re planning DIY projects for your wedding I think simplicity is essential. For our Vermont wedding in August of 2003 (which was highly DIY!) I made a sunlight infused chive blossom vinegar for our favors and I think it is a great, easy way to personalize something for your guests. I learned to make it when I worked for Clay Brook Farm, an organic farm in Jericho, cutting flowers and making bouquets 7 or 8 years ago. It is perfect for use as a dressing or marinade, it makes a mean cucumber salad and it adds a pretty pink color to your table when it’s bottled! You may even want to share any left-over vinegar with your caterer and serve it on a salad or side dish at your wedding or rehearsal dinner. You can make it several months ahead of time so there’s no last-minute work and you can easily substitute different herbs (like purple basil, lemon basil, or any other herb you fancy) for the chive blossoms if you’d like.
Here’s what you’ll need:
4 clean 5-gallon buckets
Glass bottles in a size & shape you like for each guest (I think 8-12 oz. sizes are nice).
Lots and lots of chive blossoms (you will probably want to fill each bucket at least 1/2-3/4 of the way with blossoms or herbs). You might consider growing the herbs yourself or picking them yourself at a local farm (or at least a local farmstand!).
White vinegar. The amount you’ll need depends upon the size of the bottles you select and the number of guests you have. There are 128 oz. in a gallon so if you multiply the total number of bottles you’ll need by the number of ounces each one holds and divide it by 128 you’ll have your answer. For example if you have 100 guests and you select 10 oz. bottles you will need about 8 gallons of vinegar to fill the bottles.
Plastic wrap to put over the top of the 5-gallon buckets.
Large rubber bands or string to secure the plastic wrap to the bucket.
- Customized tags with your names, wedding date, description of sunlight infused vinegar, uses, etc.
- Raffia or ribbon to tie tags to bottles.
- A hole punch and…
- Sunshine! 1-2 days/afternoons worth should do it.
- Fill 2 clean 5-gallon buckets 1/2-3/4 of the way with chive blossom or herb of your choice.
- Pour vinegar over the top of the blossoms until each bucket has approximately the same amount.
- Cover with plastic wrap (you can do more than 1 layer) and secure with rubber bands or string.
- Place in full sun for 1-2 days to allow the vinegar to heat up. Try not to leave it out in the rain! Use a spoon to check the progress of the vinegar (ie. it’s color and flavor).
- When vinegar reaches the desired color/flavor you can remove the plastic wrap and strain the chive blossoms out of the vinegar by pouring it through a cheese cloth into another clean 5-gallon bucket. (You can attach the cheese cloth to the bucket you are pouring from or the one you are pouring into depending on your set-up.)
- You can immediately bottle your vinegar now or store it for several months until you are ready. You should first sterilize your glass bottles with boiling water and then use a funnel to ladle the vinegar into each bottle being careful to fill to the same line on each bottle. Cap the bottles, add your tag and voila! You have a sunlight infused vinegar for your guests that you made yourself! Easy.
If you want an easy DIY project that delivers a personalized feeling this is definitely one to try. If you do try it, I’d love to hear how it turns out!