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.

By Colleen Vanderlinden

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.

51 comments

Angela N.
Angela N.3 years ago

thanks :)

Elizabeth P.
Elizabeth P.5 years ago

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

antonella c.
Antonella C.5 years ago

a nice idea for next Xmas...
thanks

Patricia B.
Patricia Bucio5 years ago

Buen artículo.

Claudia Durand
Claudia Durand5 years ago

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

Leslie Filer
Leslie Filer5 years ago

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

Laura Klein
Laura Klein5 years ago

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!

charmaine c.
Charmaine C.5 years ago

Thank you. Really good tips.

Joy Wong
Joy Wong5 years ago

Thanks for the information, Samantha.

Maria S.
Maria S.5 years ago

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.