Do-it-Yourself: Infused Vinegar

5 Ingredients or Less, Agrarian, Cook, DIY, Make, Preserving, Try This at Home, Weekend Project

Herb- and fruit-infused vinegars are easy (and economical) to make at home, and they add fresh, bold flavors to salad dressings. They also make a wonderful gift. Read on for our recipes and tips.

 

Garlic-Herb Vinegar

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves or thyme, tarragon or rosemary sprigs

4 cups white wine or Champagne vinegar

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

2 lemon zest strips, each 1 inch wide and 2 inches long

 

Have ready a clean, large nonreactive bowl.

 

Thoroughly rinse the basil leaves or herb sprigs and then pat dry with paper towels. Rough chop the leaves (leave sprigs whole). In a nonreactive saucepan over low heat, warm the vinegar until hot but not yet simmering; do not let it boil. Remove from the heat. Place the basil, garlic and lemon zest in the bowl. Pour in the hot vinegar and stir to combine. Set aside to cool. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-4 weeks; the longer the vinegar stands, the stronger the flavors will be. Gently stir the vinegar every few days to blend the flavors.

 

Have ready hot, sterilized bottles.

 

Strain the vinegar through a fine-mesh sieve and then through a coffee filter. Using a funnel, pour the filtered vinegar into the bottles. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 months. Makes 2 one-pint bottles.

 

Berry Vinegar

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (optional)

4 cups white wine or rice vinegar

3 cups blackberries, blueberries or raspberries

 

Have ready a clean, large nonreactive bowl.

 

Thoroughly rinse the mint leaves, if using, and then pat dry with paper towels. Rough chop the leaves. In a nonreactive saucepan over low heat, warm the vinegar until hot but not yet simmering; do not let it boil. Remove from the heat. Place the berries and the mint, if using,  in the bowl. Pour in the hot vinegar and stir to combine. Set aside to cool. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-4 weeks; the longer the vinegar stands, the stronger the flavors will be. Gently stir the vinegar every few days to blend the flavors.

 

Have ready hot, sterilized bottles.

 

Strain the vinegar through a fine-mesh sieve and then through a coffee filter. Using a funnel, pour the filtered vinegar into the bottles. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 months. Makes 2 one-pint bottles.

 

To see our preserving tips, check out our complete guide.

 

85 comments about “Do-it-Yourself: Infused Vinegar

  1. Jude

    The picture shows the bottles with sprigs inside, but the directions seem to indicate that the sprigs should be discarded. Which is correct? If you want the sprigs in the bottles, can you use the same sprigs, or should you use fresh ones? Does this change the storage time?

    Reply
  2. Olivia Ware

    Hi Jude, thanks for the comment! The sprigs should be discarded before you bottle the vinegar. As you said, if you want some ingredients in the bottles, use fresh ones or include other garnishes like citrus peel or whole spices instead.

    Reply
  3. Olivia Ware

    Hi Rita, we haven’t tested the recipe with that variation, so we can’t vouch for it. However, if you enjoy the flavor of regular white vinegar, it will likely make a fine base for the infused vinegars. If you do try it, please let us know how it goes! Good luck!

    Reply
    1. Beverly Patterson

      I just opened my first jars of infused vinegars using white distilled vinegar….they are so good! So yes, white distilled will work beautifully!

      Reply
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  5. Jess

    I have a question, maybe you can help! I am in the final days of my 2 week infusion (I have mostly Balsamic & a couple White Wine Vinegars) I am very curious, if any turn out too strong is it safe to heat new vinegar and add to the infused?? (After strained) Help! Mahalo : )

    Reply
    1. Pam

      I found nice corked bottles online at World Market and in store at Hobby Lobby.

      Reply
  6. debbie

    I would love a column about infusing olive oil. Especially using garlic and citrus. Also how long is it safe to keep fresh garlic or roasted garlic steeping in olive oil?

    Reply
    1. Penny

      I’ve infused olive oil with ingredients as such, crushed garlic, rosemary, red chili flakes, etc. I placed the amount of olive oil I wanted into a heavy bottomed sauce pan, added the ingredients, and brought it to a simmer for about three minutes. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and cover. Let steep for 30 minutes.

      I clean and save wine bottles for the infused oil and vinegars I make. I also buy pour spouts (some decorative for gifts) and keep on the counter for easy use.

      Reply
    2. Nyree Burt

      Be very wary of infusing garlic and oil. Botulism is a danger because there is no acidity present. Garlic infused vinegar is fine due to the acidity, but homemade garlic infused oil can make you very sick. Commercially prepared garlic oil has an acidifier added, rendering it safe.

      Reply
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  8. agedtechie

    Ikea has great bottles but not chral…onrs that look like these were about $3.50 ea.

    Reply
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  13. Rose D

    I want to make strawberry vinegar with frozen berries. Possibly with basil. Can I use the quantities and proportions you used in your berry vinegar recipe? Thanks , your site has lots of interesting things I’d like to try.

    Reply
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  15. Lori L. Roberts

    Rose D.

    Recipe from above…

    Berry Vinegar
    1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (optional)
    4 cups white wine or rice vinegar
    3 cups blackberries, blueberries or raspberries

    Reply
  16. Sue

    Hello, can you only use white balsamic vinegar or can you use the darker version too??

    Reply
  17. Diane

    Are there any tips for sterilizing wine bottles ? I have some beautiful French Rose bottles I would like to use.

    Reply
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  20. Lynda Pace Avery

    Could I use frozen raspberries. and once bottled how long do the vinegars last please?

    Reply
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