Does the thought of drinking vinegar make you, well, screw your face up? Well, reserve your judgment until you've tried this deliciously refreshing beverage.
650ml raw unpasteurised organic apple cider vinegar
1kg (prepped weight) rockmelon or similar melon
275g unrefined organic sugar
Buy the best melon you can find. Look for one that's fragrant and sweet.
Cut the melon in half and then cut into roughly 10 slices.
Cut into each slice from top to tail to make lots of small pieces, roughly 1 cm width (don't cut through the rind)
Then run the knife along inside of the rind on each slice and drop all the small pieces of melon in a container.
Add the sugar, gently stir and mix well.
Cover with a lid.
Set aside for 24 hours in the fridge.
Add the apple cider vinegar, stir gently and thoroughly.
Cover with a circle of parchment paper sitting on the liquid to prevent the bobbing fruit from being exposed to the air and oxidising further.
Stir and taste it daily to follow the change in flavours for up to three days*.
When it's ready it should be fresh and fragrant like that of a perfect melon.
Strain through a conical sieve. (Don't squeeze the fruit, keep that in the fridge and eat it.)
Bottle the liquid and store in the fridge. Drink with soda and ice at a 1:4 ratio or try it with a spirit.
*Note: after two days be careful to watch the colouring. If the fruit starts to brown or its fresh perfume starts to fade slightly, immediately strain it. It only takes hours to spoil.
Rawduck in London specialises in fermented drinks, which are also sold in sister restaurant Ducksoup. For more recipes see The Wisdom of Simple Cooking, Ducksoup Cookbook by Clare Lattin and Tom Hill, Square Peg (via Penguin Australia), $65.