Make Your Own French Gastrique

French Gastrique - sweet and sour sauce

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings

French gastrique is, essentially, a sweet-and-sour sauce. The primary flavor (and some of the sweetness) typically comes from fruit and the sour, from the vinegar. Easily made with butter, shallot, fruit, sugar, wine or cognac, and vinegar, it's a great sauce to keep on hand.

The beauty of a gastrique is its versatility. With this one simple recipe, you can create endless flavors and experiment with different fruit and meat pairings to see which you enjoy most. You will find that this sauce is an amazing addition to roasted or sautéed pork and poultry dishes.


  • 2 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
  • 1 shallot (peeled and minced)
  • 2 cups fruit (whole berries or larger fruit peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons wine (or cognac)
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for French sweet and sour sauce
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  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

    Melt the butter
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  3. Add shallots and cook until they are translucent (about 5 minutes).

    Butter in pan
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  4. Add the fruit, sugar, wine or cognac, and vinegar to the pan. Bring the mixture to a very light boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low.

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  5. Simmer until the fruit is very tender, around 10 to 20 minutes, and remove from heat.

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  6. If using berries, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any seeds.

    Strain the mixture
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  7. Otherwise, purée the mixture in a blender.

    Puree the mixture
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  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning and tartness as needed.

    Adjust the seasoning
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  9. Serve with your choice of meat and enjoy!

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.


  • Gastriques are easy to make and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • These sauces also freeze beautifully, so feel free to make a few different flavors as various fruits come into season.
  • While gastriques are most often used with meats, they are also wonderful with fish or vegetables.

Recipe Variations

  • The wine, cognac, and vinegar also can be switched out with flavored brandies, cooking wines, vermouth, apple cider vinegar, or your favorite version of any of these ingredients.
  • Almost any fruit will make a great gastrique. Apple, blood orange, peach, mango, and berries are popularly used in France. If you like, combine two fruits like apple and cranberry or skip the fruit altogether and make a simple brandy gastrique.