How to Make Herbal Vinegars for Cooking

Preserve the herb harvest by learning how to make herbal vinegars. Herb vinegars are easy to make, give the following herbal vinegar recipes a try this season. Flavored vinegar is delicious drizzled over meat and vegetables, as a marinade, and even as a vinaigrette for fresh and roasted vegetables.

how to make herbal vinegars

A Farm Girl in the Making is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program which is linked to Amazon.com and other affiliated sites. This allows for us to make a small amount of money on goods you purchase at no extra charge to you. For that, we thank you!

Homemade Herb Vinegars

The opportunity to eat clean foods creates the desire to learn how to preserve the garden’s harvest utilizing new concepts. Herbs are a stable in many gardens. Not only are herbs used for culinary purposes, they also deter garden pests and used to naturally treat ailments.

Whether herbs are found in the main garden or have their own space, they are necessary to grow. Not to mention herbs are exceptionally easy to grow. Herbs are extremely bountiful and can be harvested multiple times throughout a growing season. The ability to preserve the herb harvest allows it to be enjoyed for months to come.

Of course drying fresh herbs is a must. This preserving method allows you to create homemade seasoning packs such as an easy homemade Italian seasoning. Of course preserving garlic scape pesto and traditional basil pesto is also necessary, but the ability to preserve herbs by making herbal vinegars elevates ones preserving and culinary techniques.

Herbal vinegars have multiple uses, but by far the most appealing method is for marinate meats and vegetables. In addition to being used as a marinate, herbal vinegars make an amazing dressing for fresh vegetables. Or simply drizzle flavored vinegar onto meats and vegetables for added flavor.

In addition to trying your hand at herb vinegars why not give drinking vinegars, or shrubs, a try? A peach shrub mixed with sparkling water is a great beverage for adults and children during the warm summer months.

How to Make Herbal Vinegars

There are two methods in which herbs can be preserved in vinegar, yet both are easy to achieve.

The first method is to utilize a sprig or three of herbs, then bottling the herbs and vinegar together. This method allows for a subtle herbal flavor.

The second method requires a higher concentration of herb to vinegar. Once the infusion is complete the herbs are then strained, leaving behind a strong essence of the herb being infused. The palate will first taste the herbs with the vinegar being the secondary flavor.

There are conflicting tips on how herbal vinegars are made. However, the National Center for Home Food Preservation states, use 3 to 4 sprigs per pint (2 cups) of vinegar with an infusion time of 3 to 4 weeks. On the contrary to this information, other sources state to use 2 to 3 sprigs of herbs with a shorter infusing time.

Infusing the Sprigs

There are two methods available for this technique, one takes much longer than the other but the outcome is the same.

The Slow Method

  1. Lightly crush, or bruise, the leaves of the herbs and add to the jar or bottle of choice.
  2. Add vinegar of choice, making sure the sprigs are fully covered, add the lid. A plastic lid works best when working with vinegar, this prevents the metal lid from rusting.
  3. Store in a cool, dark location for up to 6 to 8 weeks. Once complete, the herbs in the vinegar can be strained out or left in.

The Quicker Method

  1. Add vinegar of choice to the saucepan, heat the vinegar to just below boiling point, to 190 degrees to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow it to reach a boil, you simply want to warm it.
  2. Place the appropriate amount of herbs into a jar or decorative bottle.
  3. Using a jar funnel, add warm vinegar into the bottle making sure the herbs are covered.
  4. Securely add the lid and store in a cool, dark location for 3 to 4 week. The herbs can be strained or left in the bottle.

Herbal Essence Flavored Vinegar

Unlike the methods mentioned above, an herbal essence (as I call it) requires the herbs to be packed tightly within the jar.

  1. Crush or bruise the leaves of herbs and pack tightly into the jar, leaving a 2-inch headspace.
  2. Add vinegar of choice to the saucepan, heat the vinegar to just below boiling point, to 190 degrees to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow it to reach a boil, you simply want to warm it.
  3. Using a jar funnel add the warmed vinegar to the herb filled jar, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. With an air bubble remover move the herbs to ensure no bubbles are found within the jar. Add additional vinegar as needed.
  4. Securely add the lid and store in a cool, dark location for 3 to 4 week. The herbs can be strained or left in the bottle.
  5. Using a rubber band secure a cheese cloth over the jar, strain the flavored vinegar from the jar into a clean swing top bottle or mason jar.

Garden Herbs

How to make herbal vinegars takes very little skill and a love for utilizing herbs. The following herbs can be by themselves or in combinations:

  • oregano
  • thyme
  • basil
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • bay leaf
  • marjoram
  • mint
  • lemongrass
  • lemon balm
  • chives
  • tarragon

Regardless of the type of herb used make sure to wash and dry the herbs well, discarding all brown or yellow leaves prior to adding the vinegar.

Fruits and Vegetables for a fun Flavored Vinegar

Fruits and vegetables partner quite well with herbs and vinegars. Take for example, blackberries infused with thyme, blueberries with rosemary, and strawberries and lavender. Berries and stone fruit work well in herbal vinegar recipes.

  • berries – raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, huckleberries, elderberries
  • stone fruit – peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries
  • pineapple
  • citrus peel (making sure to remove the waxy coating prior to use)

The following vegetables add flavor to herb vinegars:

  • onions
  • green onions
  • dried red pepper
  • spicy fresh peppers

Together, raspberry and jalapeno peppers create an incredible flavor, which is why homemade raspberry jalapeno jam is such a hit. This combination paired with champagne or white wine vinegar is true delight.

Select the Best Vinegar for making Herb Vinegars

There are a plethora of options when it comes to selecting a vinegar to use. Distilled white vinegar can be used, however, it is harsh in flavor. It is necessary to select vinegars which are 5% acidic or higher, make sure to verify the acidity level prior to making herbal vinegars.

  • red wine, hearty in flavor, partners well with spices and strong herbs like rosemary, unfortunately this vinegar choice tends to hide the flavor of delicate herbs such as thyme
  • white wine, delicate in flavor, partners well with herbs and milder fruits such as peaches
  • raw apple cider vinegar, smooth in flavor and blends well with fruits and herbs such as rosemary
  • champagne, delicate in flavor, partners well with herbs and milder fruits such as peaches
  • Balsamic, hearty in flavor, partners well with spices and strong herbs like rosemary but tends to hide the flavor of delicate herbs such as thyme
  • rice wine, mild and slightly sweet in flavor, partners well with spices such as ginger, green onions, and white onions

The joy in making flavored vinegar unique is the desire to experiment by mixing various types of vinegar together. Herbal vinegar recipes are not etched in stone, be creative with flavors you will enjoy.

herb vinegars

Add Spices

There are no limits when it comes to creating herbal vinegar recipes. Typically, herbs and vinegar are all that are required. However, adding a spice or spice mixture creates an incredible flavor in its own right. Use spices in their whole form versus ground spices, this allows them to be strain easier, creating a clearer liquid and smoother flavored vinegar.

  • black pepper
  • mustard seeds
  • cloves
  • cinnamon sticks
  • star anise
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • fresh sliced ginger root

The options are endless as to the type of spices which can be added to herbal vinegar recipes.

Equipment

The equipment list is very basic, and more than likely you already own what is needed, especially if you are brewing your own kombucha. A quick tip, purchase bottles for storing flavored vinegars from second hand stores. These bottles will cost a fraction of the cost to buying them new. Not to mention, many bottles from second hand store have character and great design to them.

  • saucepan
  • jar funnel
  • decorative bottles, swing top or cork top
  • quart size to half gallon mason jar
  • jar funnel
  • cheese cloth and rubber band

How to Make Herbal Vinegars | 3 Herbal Vinegar Recipes

Here are three herbal vinegar recipes to get you started. Enjoy them!

flavored vinegars

Sage Vinegar

  • ½ ounce fresh save (½ cup chopped leaves)
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  1. Rinse and chip the sage, add to a clean mason jar or swing top bottle. Gently bruise, or crush the leaves, add the stem to a clean mason jar or swing top bottle
  2. Add vinegar of choice to the saucepan, heat the vinegar to just below boiling point, to 190 degrees to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow it to boil, you simply want to warm it.
  3. Cover mason jar with a plastic lid and store in a cool, dark location for 3 to 4 weeks.
  4. Using a rubber band secure a cheese cloth over the jar, strain the flavored vinegar from the jar into a clean swing top bottle or mason jar.

Sage vinegar partners well with pork chops, sausage, and is delicious drizzled over roasted potatoes. 

Mint Vinegar

  • large bunch of mint (peppermint, spearmint, or mojito mint)
  • 1 cup each white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  1. Wash the mint well and pat dry, remove the leaves from the stems. Discard any leaves which have browned or yellow. Gently bruise, or crush the leaves, add the stem to a clean mason jar or swing top bottle.
  2. Combine the vinegars into the saucepan, heat the vinegar to just below boiling point, to 190 degrees to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow it to boil, you simply want to warm it.
  3. Allow the herbal vinegar to steep in a cool, dark location for 3 to 4 weeks. 
  4. Using a rubber band secure a cheese cloth over the jar, strain the flavored vinegar from the jar into a clean swing top bottle or mason jar.

Mint vinegar partners well with cooked or roasted beets and lamb.

Basil Vinegar

  • 1 bunch basil (holy, Thai, purple, Genovese, or Italian)
  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  1. Wash the basil well and pat dry. Discard any leaves which have browned or yellow. Gently bruise, or crush the leaves, add the stem to a clean mason jar or swing top bottle
  2. Combine the vinegars into the saucepan, heat the vinegar to just below boiling point, to 190 degrees to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not allow it to boil, you simply want to warm it.
  3. Allow the herbal vinegar to steep in a cool, dark location for 2 to 3 weeks. 
  4. Using a rubber band secure a cheese cloth over the jar, strain the flavored vinegar from the jar into a clean swing top bottle or mason jar.

Basil vinegar is excellent when drizzled over sausage, potatoes, and chicken. It is also delicious as a vinaigrette over couscous and quinoa. 

Herbal vinegars are worth the few minutes it takes to make them. Whether they are used to drizzle over foods or as a vinaigrette or marinate ,there is better to enhance the flavor of the items being consumed. 

how to make herbal vinegars
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailerLite ( more information )
We respect your privacy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copyright © 2020 · Theme by 17th Avenue


COPYRIGHT © 2020 A FARM GIRL IN THE MAKING. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.