What is herbal vinegar?

Sprigs of rosemary and sage.

Herbal vinegar is vinegar that has been mixed with herbs. After a brief period of curing, the vinegar is infused with flavor and can be used in things like sauces and seasonings. Many gourmet markets offer a variety of herbal vinegars as well as herbal-infused olive oils. You can also easily make herbal vinegar at home if you want to try your own combinations.

Basil, which can be used to make herbal vinegar.

Any culinary herb or edible flower can be used in herbal vinegar. Mint, orange, thyme, parsley, basil, dandelion, ginger, nettle and many others are quite popular, along with spices like garlic and pepper. Cooks can also choose from a wide variety of vinegars, including white vinegar, cider, wine and sherry. If you are making herbal vinegar at home, use vinegar with an acidity of at least 5% to ensure the acidity is high enough to prevent the herbs from rotting.

Garlic is a popular ingredient in the herb avenger.

When selecting a vinegar to soak the herbs in, cooks try to think about how the flavors combine. Lavender vinegar, for example, should probably be made with white vinegar, while rosemary vinegar can be made with a stronger wine vinegar. Classic culinary herbs like thyme, sage, oregano and tarragon can be doused in sherry or cider vinegar, while dill vinegar can be made with white vinegar for a fresh, clean flavor.

Parsley can be included in an herbal vinegar.

When making herbal vinegar at home, you can adjust the ingredients and concentration to suit your needs. Homemade herbal vinegar can also make a great gift, especially if you find attractive decorative containers to present it to. Start by selecting fresh herbs and gently washing and drying them. Pack the herbs in a glass jar that has been submerged in boiling water for 15 minutes to sterilize it, then pour the vinegar over the herbs, making sure to leave a little space at the top of the jar.

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Herbs can be infused in white vinegar, cider, or balsamic vinegar.

Close the bottle with a non-metallic cap or stopper and leave in a cool, dry place, checking the flavor and strength weekly. When the herbal vinegar has reached the desired flavor, strain it through a sieve or a piece of cotton cloth in another sterilized jar. For decoration, you can put a sprig of herbs in the new jar. In either case, label the vial with the contents and date and close it with a new, sterile stopper or cap.

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