Herb Infused Flavored Vinegars

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flavoredvinegar

I’ve long known about flavored oils, and even did a post on making your own here, but when I came across an old recipe for flavored vinegars I got pretty excited. I didn’t know that the chemistry was there to allow the aromatics to infuse into the vinegar. I shouldn’t have been surprised- after all there are vinegar and oil stores popping up all around. Have you seen them? They are these beautiful stores where they have big kegs of the stuff all around the room. You can nab a bottle, small or large, and fill your own. I’ve come away with such delights as Espresso Vinegar, and Cranberry Pear vinegar- but there are countless other oils and vinegars to choose from. It’s a super fun thing to do on a rainy day to run around and sample.

What I learned from an old cook book I stumbled upon, was that infusing vinegar was actually much LESS complicated than infusing oil. How about that? Simply sterilize a bottle, stuff in some cleaned herbs, and then pour over some warmed vinegar. Then wait.

 My first attempt was trying grapefruit, which I used in the Chevre Panna Cotta recipe. It was a tremendous success. It was recommended to allow the concoction to steep for several weeks, but I found it really only took a few days. The longer the better I suppose, but really, it didn’t take long to get a beautiful bouquet going. That early success got me going to try other combinations {there were quite a few} and they were all pretty darn good.

herb vinegar

What I really like about the grapefruit is that it add a gorgeous citrusy zing to your dish. A taste which one can truly come to adore. I have recently learned about myself ,that much of what I really like about Tabasco sauce is it’s vinegary tang. Nowadays I find myself splashing a little grapefruit vinegar on just about everything. The mint is similar as a lightening zip to things. As we are now {finally} getting into spring, it’s a nice note to add to spring vegetables. You can imagine the possibilities.

Forget the finishing oils- bring on the finishing vinegars!

The big surprise was the purple sage. I had bought myself a little plant at the farmer’s market a week or two ago. It’s growing like a fiend in my window box. It puts out these almost alien looking tufted poufs of fronds. Very very beautiful. But even more lovely is the gorgeous shade of pink that it turned the vinegar. Very blushy and girly and delicate about it. I keep it on my sideboard, just because it makes me so happy to look at!

purple sage vinegar, homemade vinegar

What is even more divine is that this little project has cost me little. Vinegar is not all that expensive, and a few herbs? pfft! The fancy schmancy store charges like $7 a pop. I am thrilled that I did mine for just over a buck a bottle. The biggest expense is the bottle, but really anything will do, just make sure it’s sterile before you begin.

So here’s the recipe- Plain and simple-

For most of the vinegars (there were many versions, these are only three) I used white vinegar. Regular, everyday white vinegar- the kind you’re about to buy to dye your Easter eggs.  You could use wine vinegar if that’s all you have, it will just give a slight roundness to the flavor, which could be stunning. Cider vinegar might be good for certain flavors- earthier things.

I used white balsamic vinegar for the mint, because I liked a little sweetness to it. Alternatively you could add a pinch or two of sugar and see how that works for you. Mostly I liked to keep the flavors clean since I do mix them into dressings and I didn’t want to worry about conflicting flavors.

So you get your vinegar, you clean out and sterilize your jars (boil and cool upside down, run through the dishwasher, bake in an oven for a few minutes), fill with cleaned herbs or peels, warm the vinegar to hot, pour over, loosely cap and then wait for awhile. Done and Done. I hope you enjoy these.

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On a different note: You may have noticed, dear readers, that I’ve been making a few changes around here. I migrated my baby over to WordPress last week, with the great help of Jeni at The Blog Maven, who was supremely awesome. I decided to also make a few changes and upgrades, some of which will be coming later as I develop and play around. One big change, you may have noticed, is that I’m now putting big girl ads up. I used to sniff at those who advertised, but I gotta tell y’all, mama needs some new pots and pans, and I’m hoping this will help.

Please let me know what you think, good {preferably} or bad. I really would appreciate that.

Until next time-

Gr