Herb and Fruit Vinegars

I’m hoping that you enjoyed my previous tips on preparing herb butters and oil.  I love preparing them both. Today’s recipe is on another one of my favorites: preparing flavored vinegars.

Seasoned vinegar is especially useful for making marinades and salad dressing due to its deeply infused flavors.

Herb or fruit flavored vinegar may be made by combining in sterilized jars or bottles:

  • 1 cup fresh herbs or fruit (bruise slightly to release their oils) or 1 to 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped herbs and
  • 2 cups of white or red wine vinegar (It’s important to find a high-quality white or red wine vinegar to start with, one with minimal levels of ethyl acetate, the compound that shows up in lesser-quality vinegars.)

Tightly cap the container and set aside to steep in a warm place for about two weeks checking daily. Strain and discard herbs. Repeat with fresh herbs/fruit for richer flavor. Decant into sterilized jars or bottles with a tight-fitting cap.

You can also add vinegar and herbs or fruit to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and slowly cook two minutes. Strain through a coffee filter inside a strainer and store.

Typical herbs to use singly or in a combination are: basil, dill tarragon, rosemary, celery seed, cranberry, mustard seed.

Add a couple of sprigs of herbs or a few seeds to the final product for a festive-looking bottle.  Remember to keep away from direct sunlight.

Some flavors to try:

  • Apple Spice
  • Tarragon
  • Raspberry, Nectarines, Peaches or Mangoes
  • Lemon
  • Garlic Chive

Have you ever made your own flavored vinegar? What has been your favorite flavor? Any particular tips to impart?

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef specializing in healthy cooking, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

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