If you saw my segment on Fox13 The Place you might like more information about making herbal vinegars. If you missed it you can see it here.
Herbal vinegars are a great way to preserve herbs, use in cooking, and make great gifts
Herbal vinegars are easy to make and have a multitude of uses
Some herbal vinegars have been used to help with prevention from illness
Supplies for herbal vinegars
Apple Cider, red wine, white wine, rice, coconut, balsamic – do not use distilled (white) vinegar unless this vinegar is just for cleaning
Fresh or dried herbs
Clean food safe bottle with lid for steeping
Clean food safe bottle with lid and/or spout for gifting/using. – use darker colored bottles for vinegars which may not have an attractive color (sage looks yellowish). Recycle vinegar or other bottles or purchase bottles. Hint: Vegetable oil and/or alcohol and/or vinegar can help with removing label residue after a good soak in water.
Lint free cheesecloth or coffee filters for straining smaller pieces
Recycled ribbon or raffia for gift tag if for a gift
Ornament or other small gift (optional)
Consider enclosing a list of possible uses with the vinegar
Apple cider vinegar works better with stronger flavored herbs such as sage and oregano. Sage and oregano can be used with any of the other vinegars also.
Fill clean jar about half full of herbs. For lavender fill ¼ of the jar or less
If using a variety of herbs place heavier herbs on top (sliced ginger for example) to hold down the lighter weight herbs
Pour vinegar over herbs
Be sure all herbs are submerged in the vinegar
Put on the lid
Place in a cool,
dark spot for a minimum of one week.
Smell or taste after one week or just leave it for longer. If you desire a stronger scent or taste let steep for longer. More herbs and/or longer steeping will create and stronger flavor and scent in the final product.
When desired scent/taste is reached strain herbs through cheesecloth or coffee filter. Pour strained vinegar into final bottle. Compost herbs and coffee filter after removing.
Reuse food safe, glass bottles including the bottle the vinegar was originally in.
or purchase food safe bottles.
If desired, place a sprig of the herb in the bottle after straining. If it looks like a science specimen then remove the sprig.
Uses of herbal vinegars
Choose the appropriate herb or herbs based on the final use.
Mix with oil of your choice for a salad dressing.
Use as a marinade
Add to soups
Add to sauces
Add to mashed potatoes
Add to the water when steaming vegetables
Add to pies and other desserts
In place of non herbal vinegars in recipes
Add 2 teaspoons or more to drinking water
Mix with equal amounts of water for a facial toner
Use a splash of vinegar in your bath
Add to laundry
Rinse dishes – especially glass
On skin for an insect repellent
Gargle for sore throat
If you don’t like the vinegar you can still use it for some of the above uses such as for cleaning, laundry, or as a hair rinse unless it contains garlic.
See books for more information and ideas: Making & Using Herbal Vinegars compiled by The Essential Herbal Magazine and Fire Cider! by Rosemary Gladstar