Herbed Vinegars

Although today's supermarket shelves are stocked with herbed vinegars, why not make your own? They're less costly-and very satisfying to make. They also make great gifts from your kitchen!

  • To sterilize, simmer the bottle for ten minutes, and let it cool. Wash the cap or obtain a clean cork.
  • Insert a combination of fresh herbs (stems and leaves) and spices into the bottle. Three or four herb sprigs per pint are usually enough.
  • Fill the bottle with vinegar. You can use any vinegar as a base: white, red wine, or cider vinegar. Herbs and spices may go better with some vinegars than others. For example, try tarragon and garlic cloves in red or white wine vinegar, and delicate herbs in distilled white vinegar.

Is wine or rice wine vinegar okay to use? Be aware that a protein they contain may promote bacteria growth if the herbed vinegar isn't stored properly.

  • Put on the cap, or insert the cork. Store the bottle in a cool, dark place. Allow the flavor to develop for two to three weeks.
  • Try these flavorful combinations: fresh tarragon in cider vinegar; garlic cloves, fresh rosemary or sage, and lemon peel in white wine vinegar; and fresh mint and orange peel in cider vinegar. For fun, make herbed vinegar with edible flowers-for example, nasturtiums with peppercorns, garlic cloves, whole cloves, and cider vinegar.
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