Pickling Liquid

The universal pickling liquid. Keep a bottle of it in the fridge and pickle anything under five minutes.

Pickling liquid


300ml Water

200ml Apple Cider Vinegar

100g Sugar

pinch Salt


1. Measure out 100 grams of sugar, add 300 mililitre of hot water, which will help you dissolve the sugar, then add 200 mililiter of apple cider vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and stir it well.

2. You can infuse your pickling liquid with aromatics such as peppercorns, bayleaves, citrus peels or anything you like. In this case, bring the liquid to boil and let the aromatics infuse.


Once your pickling liquid has cooled down, transfer it to a bottle and keep it in your fridge, where it will last for up to a year.


  • This is also called the 3:2:1 pickling liquid, due to its ratio of ingredients.

  • I like to keep a bottle of this pickling liquid in my fridge all the time. It is really handy and it takes me like 3 minutes to pickle something like stems and stuff if I have the pickling liquid ready.

  • If you swap the apple cider vinegar for a stronger vinegar, adjust the ratio accordingly, e.g. one and half part of vinegar instead of two parts.

  • Demerara sugar is my preferred choice, but you can use what you like.

  • Use the cold pickling liquid for softer and watery or green ingredients such as herb stems, mushrooms, cucumbers, and use a hot pickling liquid for harder ingredients such as root vegetables, apples or cabbage.

This recipe is from my book Surplus: The food waste guide for chefs and is also a part of my online course Zero-waste cooking at home, where you can find more recipes and tips on zero-waste friendly cooking.

Download the recipe below

Pickling Liquid
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