You will see flavored vinegar’s in specialty stores, lined up in beautiful bottles and all costing a small fortune. The secret is that flavored vinegar is terribly easy to make and a lot less expensive than buying them in the store. Below are a couple recipes for flavored vinegar’s. Once you get the hang of it, you can get creative and make your own special blends. These vinegar’s are great for jazzing up a vinaigrette, or, if you like, put them in a fancy bottle and give them as gifts. Whatever your pleasure, you’ll enjoy knowing that all these terrific flavor results took you literally minutes to make.
These recipes assume the use of pint bottles, but the quantities are easily multiplied or divided and aren’t critical in the first place. Be sure to sterilize the bottles and caps or corks by boiling them for 10 minutes before filling.
For herb vinegar:
2 slices lemon
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbs whole black, white, or green peppercorns, or a combination of these
4 – 6 sprigs of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, or tarragon, or a combination of these
For spiced vinegar:
2 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
2 slices orange
1 Tbs allspice berries
1 Tbs whole black peppercorns
The peel of 1 orange
For fruit vinegar:
3 cups raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries, or a combination of these
Good quality red wine, white wine, or cider vinegar
For the herb and spiced vinegars, place the flavoring ingredients in sterilized pint bottles or jars and fill with the vinegar of your choice. Seal tightly and keep in a cool, dark place for at least 1 week before using.
To make the fruit vinegar, crush the fruit with a wooden spoon and place in a covered non-reactive container. Add 2 cups of the vinegar of your choice and store covered in a cool place for 3 to 5 days. Strain through cheesecloth or coffee filters into a stainless steel saucepan. Boil covered for 10 minutes and pour into a sterilized pint bottle or jar. All these vinegars should be used within 6 months.