Infused Vinegar has become a very popular gourmet staple. You’ll find them in grocery stores and specialty shops. They can cost a pretty penny!
You might be wondering why you need infused vinegar and what you’d use it for. Infused vinegar can be used for so many different things depending on what type of vinegar is infused.
Infused vinegar can be made with Balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar.
You can infuse vinegar with fruits, herbs, or spices. Fruit infused balsamic vinegar can be reduced and used as a topping on ice cream and other desserts. Vinegars infused with herbs and spices make great salad dressings, marinades, and dipping sauces. In short you can use them on almost anything!
You can splurge on a pricey bottle of infused vinegar or you can make your own at home. It’s fairly easy and very inexpensive. Now a word of caution, vinegar infused with fresh herbs and fruit can grow toxins and cause botulism poisoning. That’s because fresh ingredients contain lots of water which when released into the vinegar makes the perfect medium for growing the toxin.
If you choose to infuse vinegar with fresh fruits or herbs you MUST store it in the refrigerator for no longer than 3 months. Check it before each use for mold and discard if you see it.
To avoid this issue and to make infused vinegar that can sit at room temperature I use only dried ingredients. Dried herbs and spices have little or no water content therefore are less likely to grow toxins. This time I will show you how to make infused white vinegar, but the technique is the same for any other type of vinegar.
Jars or bottles with sealable lids or caps – I used glass Woosey hot sauce bottles with shrink capsules I got from Amazon. But you can use Mason jars or whatever you have handy
1 Gallon White Vinegar
Dried Minced Garlic
Dried Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary
Crushed Red Pepper
Place jars or bottles in a large pot and fill with water. Be sure all the containers are covered with water.
Boil on the stove for about 10 minutes.
Carefully remove hot containers from pot using tongs and place them on a clean towel to dry.
Make sure the inside of the containers are dry before filling the bottles.
Using a funnel put 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of each dry ingredient into your container.
Set herb filled bottles aside while you heat your vinegar.
Pour vinegar in large pot and place it on the stove over medium heat.
Heat vinegar until it reaches 180° – do not boil
Remove from heat
Using a ladle fill your containers with the hot vinegar. Fill to about 1″ from the top.
Screw on caps or lids.
Store in a cool dry place for about 4 weeks before using. Once you open it store vinegar in the fridge for up to 3 months.
If you want to be fancy print labels you can stick on the bottles.
This recipe will fill 24 – 5oz. bottles.
Once you’ve made your first batch you’ll be a pro! Experiment with different ingredients and use them for different things. I find strawberry infused balsamic vinegar delicious over ice cream!
Infused vinegars make wonderful gifts. I made a batch last Christmas to include in the Pasta Kits I gave out!