With old, not-so-sweet or turned-red sugarcane, you don't have to throw them to waste. Instead, you can use those to make sugarcane vinegar. Very good vinegar indeed. It's very simple to make and easy to get going during these hot summer months.

Let's see how now:

All you need to do is place the sugarcane juice in a container. Let it sit in the sun for 4-6 hours a day. Offgas it during the process if the jar gets tight. Some use netting or cheesecloth to cover the opening to avoid any insects getting into the juice. In the tropics, the vinegar will get done in around 3 months. In colder climates, it could take a year.

Note that the variety of the sugarcane and the conditions of your environment may affect the color of the final vinegar product. If you use older canes or canes that have turned a bit red inside, you'll get a slightly more red-brownish color. If you use fresh peeled sugarcane juice, the vinegar may be light golden in color.

After the vinegar fermentation is done, you can take the liquid out and filter it for a finer end product. Filter it through a fine mesh sieve or a micropore filter or coffee filter or any other filter of that type that works. Some do three filtration stages and use cheesecloth or socks (pantyhose) for screening. When you see everything filters through, then most of the cane (bark, fiber) have made it through.

You could serve the sugarcane vinegar at this point. However, some like to make it extra special by adding a few spice ingredients. You can drop in some purple onion (shallot), garlic, pepper or a few slices of chili pepper. More or less, peeled or unpeeled, chopped or whole, this is totally up to you and your taste. Some folks add ginger and turmeric.

With the made sugarcane vinegar (also known as sirka or suka in some places), you can serve it with salads or BBQ meat. Unlike other dressings like Thousand Island (which does taste good), this vinaigrette tastes so good and does not increase your waistline. With the spices added in, it helps to lower/maintain blood pressure and has some anti-bacterial properties. Best thing of all, it's all natural and easily homemade.

If you make a lot, you can share and gift some to friends. If you get good at it, you can actually sell it to people. So from turning-sour sugarcane, nothing goes to waste. Enjoy!

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