Herb flavored vinegar is a specialty vinegar that can spice up your cooking. Herbal vinegar is easy to make, and adds a complex taste to many dishes. It can be used in salad dressing, spreads, sauces, marinades, and appetizers. In fact, herbal vinegar can be used in any recipe that requires vinegar. Here's how to make herb flavored vinegar:
Ingredients and supplies:
- 3 cups vinegar (see instructions)
- 1 cup crushed herbs plus a few fresh sprigs (see instructions)
- 2 glass quart jars with lid
- Decorative bottle
- Coffee filter
Choose the vinegar and herb combination. Most people use white wine vinegar for this recipe, although you can also use white rice vinegar, cider vinegar, and red wine vinegar. Use good vinegar, which will make a better finished product. Colorful herbs will tint the color of your vinegar. Popular herbs for herbal vinegar include basil, coriander, dried chilies, cilantro, dill, oregano, nasturtium, sage, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon. You can also use garlic, peppercorns, sun dried tomatoes, and other spices. Instead of using just one herb, try combining several to create your own unique flavor.
Crush the herbs. First rinse your fresh herbs and allow time for them to dry thoroughly. If they are already dried, do not rinse them. However, fresh herbs are the best because they will produce a stronger taste. When the herbs are dried, crush them until you have one cup.
Combine the herbs and vinegar. First pour the crushed herbs into the jar. Then pour the 3 cups of vinegar over the herbs. The vinegar should come to within a half inch of the rim of the jar.
Allow to sit. Place the lid on the jar, and allow the jar to sit in a cool, dark place for at least a month.
Strain the mixture. Line the strainer with a coffee filter. Then strain the vinegar into another jar to remove the bits of herbs.
Fill the bottle. First place a few sprigs of fresh herbs into the decorative bottle. Then, using a funnel, pour the vinegar into the bottle until it is full. You may need a second bottle, depending on the size of bottle you have chosen.
Enjoy! Tie a piece of raffia around the neck of the bottle and give it as a gift, or place in your refrigerator. The mixture will last for several months.
You can make as much or as little vinegar as you want with this recipe, as long as the ratio of vinegar to crushed herbs remains 3 to 1. You may want to make a few bottles at once, because flavored vinegar makes a great gift. Make sure that the recipient knows to use it soon, as many won't want to use such a beautiful bottle.