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What is Herb Vinegar?

Basil, which can be used to make herb vinegar.
Herbs can be infused in white, cider, or balsamic vinegar.
Garlic is a popular ingredient in herb vingar.
Sprigs of rosemary and sage.
Parsley can be included in an herb vinegar.
Article Details
  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 August 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Herb vinegar is vinegar which has been blended with herbs. After a brief curing period, the vinegar will be infused with flavor and it can be used for things like sauces and dressings. Many gourmet markets carry an assortment of herb vinegars as well as herb infused olive oils. You can also easily make herb vinegar at home, if you want to try experimenting with your own combinations.

Any culinary herb or edible flower can be used in herb vinegar. Mint, orange, thyme, parsley, basil, dandelion, ginger, nettles, and many others are quite popular, along with spices like garlic and hot peppers. Cooks can also choose from a wide range of vinegars including white, cider, wine, and sherry vinegar. If you are making herb vinegar at home, use a vinegar with acidity of at least five percent, to ensure that the acidity is high enough to prevent the herbs from rotting.

When selecting a vinegar to steep the herbs in, cooks try to think about how the flavors will pair together. Lavender vinegar, for example, should probably be made with white vinegar, while rosemary vinegar can be made with a stronger wine vinegar. Classic culinary herbs like thyme, sage, oregano, and tarragon can be steeped in sherry or cider vinegar, while dill vinegar can be made with white vinegar for a fresh, clean taste.

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By making herb vinegar at home, you can adjust the ingredients and the strength to suit your needs. Homemade herb vinegar can also be a great gift, especially if you find attractive decorative containers to present it in. Start by selecting fresh herbs, washing them, and gently patting them dry. Pack the herbs loosely into a glass jar which has been submerged in boiling water for 15 minutes to sterilize it, and then pour vinegar over the herbs, making sure to leave a little bit of room at the top of the jar.

Close the jar with a non-metallic lid or cork, and leave it in a cool dry place, checking it every week for flavor and strength. When the herb vinegar reaches the desired flavor, pour it through a strainer or a piece of cheesecloth into another sterilized jar. For decoration, you may want to put a sprig of herbs in the new jar. In either case, label the jar with the contents and the date, and seal it with a fresh, sterile cork or lid.

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Discuss this Article

disciples
Post 4

I have an amazing recipe for herb infused apple cider vinegar. It comes out tasting like the apples and vinegar with some spicy notes below it. It also tastes great on or in just about everything. Any time I am trying to add a sharp flavor to a dish I will add a little of the vinegar.

nextcorrea
Post 3

How would I go about making my own herb infused vinegar? Is it as simple as mixing herbs into vinegar and letting them sit or do I have to heat them together? What are the best herbs to use and what kind of vinegar should I mix them into?

profess
Post 2

A good herb vinegar can be an amazing addition to a salad. Mixed with a little oil it is a simple, two ingredient dressing. Or if you are watching your calories just use the vinegar.

Herb vinegar is so packed with flavors and contrasts. You have the sharp vinegar but then the cornucopia of herb flavors. It is such a dynamic flavor profile.

mendocino
Post 1

Herbal vinegars help nourish the body. They are mild and make good tonics. Mixed with honey in a cup of water it makes a refreshing drink that helps digestion.

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