Pickling, particularly quick pickling, is a great way to preserve abundant seasonal bounty in a way that lets you enjoy it at a later date when it is neither readily available nor less expensive. This recipe uses alcohol to infuse various flavors into the pickle. Many of today’s distilled spirits that are herb based began life as herbal tinctures; often for medicinal purposes. Gin is no exception. Its origin likely dates back to the 13th century where it is mentioned in a Flemish manuscript. It was popularized by the Dutch and used in the treatment of ailments such as gout and dyspepsia; as well as “Coward’s Fist.” During the 30 years’ war, when the British were battling the Dutch, it became appropriated by the British when soldiers would combat such a condition with a shot of “Dutch Courage.” In fact the very name, gin, is an anglicization of the Dutch word, “genever.” which means juniper. This is the one constant among the many variations you will find. Simply use one that pleases your palate.
- 15g (roughly 1 tablespoon) pickling spice
- 3 g (roughly ½ teaspoon) of salt
- 150mL rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (roughly 5 ounces or ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 30 mL of herbal gin (or roughly 2 tablespoons)
- 2 medium roasted beets, peeled and sliced 10 to 15 mm (roughly ½ inch thick)*
Heat the salt in the vinegar until it comes to a boil and the salt is dissolved. Add the pickling spices. Remove from the heat and add the gin. Pour over the beets and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes, preferably overnight.
*To add the apples simply slice them thin, and add them to the pickling liquid with the beets.