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Make Your Own Herbal Vinegars

Make Your Own Herbal Vinegars

Even though I use herbs all the time in my cooking, I find that I usually can’t keep up with my herbs’ growth. Since I’m a huge believer in not wasting food, I try to make sure I use as much as I can. I preserve them, which usually works pretty well. Another way to use up a bounty of herbs is to make your own herbal vinegars.

Herbs for Herbal Vinegars

Many common garden herbs are perfect for making herbal vinegars. Some of the ones I’ve liked the best are:

  • Basil
  • Chives (and chive blossoms)
  • Garlic (cloves or scapes)
  • Marjoram
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Vinegar for Making Herbal Vinegars

Some vinegars are better than others. White distilled vinegar, which I love for many things, is a bad choice for making herbal vinegars because it just tastes too, well, vinegar-y. Try one of these instead:

How to Make Herbal Vinegar

You’ll need a clean, sterile jar to steep the vinegar in. Use at least 1/2 cup of fresh herbs for every cup of vinegar to ensure plenty of herbal flavor. Wash the herbs very well, and pat dry. Add herbs to the jar, and pour vinegar over the herbs. Cover the jar, and allow your herbal vinegar to steep for one week in a dark space, giving it a shake occasionally to stir up the herbs and vinegar. Check for taste after a week. If it isn’t as strong as you’d like, let it steep for another week.

Once you have the flavor you want, it’s time to decant into a pretty bottle or clean jar. Use a funnel, and either a double layer of cheesecloth or a coffee filter to filter out any little bits of herbs or stems. Strain into your new bottle or jar, cover tightly, and use within one year. You can store it in the refrigerator or on the counter — either one is fine.

How to Use Herbal Vinegars

The best way to use herbal vinegars is when making your own salad dressings — the flavor is just amazing. But you can also use herbal vinegars to brighten up the flavor of sauces or stews.

Read more: Food, , ,

By Colleen Vanderlinden

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Samantha, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.


+ add your own
10:47AM PDT on Apr 14, 2012

thanks :)

9:49AM PST on Nov 13, 2010

Yes, thats what i did this fall with all those wonderful HERBS. Thanks again for reminding me about that idea.

5:45AM PDT on Oct 25, 2010

a nice idea for next Xmas...

3:13PM PDT on Oct 3, 2010

Buen artículo.

6:13PM PDT on Sep 6, 2010

rice vinegar is a favorite of mine. It's gentler and lees harsh then white vingar

10:00AM PDT on Aug 8, 2010

Sounds like a good thing to do....I have some of those herbs in my garden. Thanks

10:17PM PDT on Jul 27, 2010

I love making my own stuff in the kitchen! I'm going to give this a try. I love making balsamic glaze by slowly reducing balsamic vinegar over super low heat. Delicious!

2:02AM PDT on Jul 24, 2010

Thank you. Really good tips.

8:39AM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

Thanks for the information, Samantha.

3:43PM PDT on Jul 18, 2010

I have most of those herbs in my garden. Usually add them fresh to my cooking, give some to family and neighbors and freeze alot. But I also can't keep up with my herb growth. Great idea to make herbal vinegar.
Thanks for the idea.

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