Making Your Own Herb Vinegar

Making Your Own Herb Vinegar
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Make Your Own Herb VinegarFor years I've been making my own herb vinegar after I discovered how simple it is to make. You can grow your own herbs or use bundles of herbs from your local grocery store (be sure they are organicly grown if possible).

I have done both, and the results have been wonderful. I give gift baskets with homemade treats, herbal vinegars and recipes. Follow these easy steps to create your own vinegars.

Herb combinations

Basil, thyme and oregano

nasturiums, garlic clove and chives-turns a wonderful color!

lemon balm, nasturtium and dill

peppercorns, basil and nasturtiums blooms cilantro, chives, a dried pepper, garlic-spicy!

thyme or basil by themselves

equal amounts of sage, thyme and basil, plus one sprig rosemary

Use your imagination!

The above combinations are ones I have tried. Once you create your own, you will think of different combinations to experiment with. Each one is unique in taste, and you will find different uses. Dill is one herb you need to use sparingly because it is so strong.

Supplies and Ingredients

-clean glass or plastic jar w/lid

-white distilled vinegar, cider or wine vinegar

-your selection of herbs

The vinegar selection is highly debated among herb growers. Some will only use wine vinegar. Because of my frugal nature I tend to go with white, and I've been very happy with the results. I find cider too strong, except when making vinegars for marinades and when adding garlic to the vinegar.

Rinse and pat dry your herbs, gently stuff them in the jar up to the top. Pour your vinegar over the herbs, filling to the very top. Place the lid on tight, and set on your windowsill for approximately 4 weeks. Shake gently once a day as you pass by the windowsill. After a month, strain out the herbs and place in your cupboard until you need it.

Using Herbal Vinegar

Replace the plain vinegar in most savory recipes-especially dressings and marinades.

Use 1/2 water, and 1/2 vinegar to baste your meat as you grill it.

Drizzle over a beef roast before placing in the oven or the crock pot

Comments and tips

I buy white vinegar by the gallon for about $3.00. I've received a lot of compliments on the taste. Feel free to use the more expensive vinegar if your budget allows.

I reuse glass or plastic jars. Glass spagetti sauce, dressings or salsa jars work great. Plastic lids work better than metal, which will corrode after awhile. You can use a double layer of plastic wrap or a rubber ring as a barrier. Always wash your jars with hot water and soap, then rinse and dry well before using.

Use raffia to tie a bow around your bottle, and attach a homemade gift tag. Raffia is inexpensive and available from most craft stores.


Herb-and-spice Wine Vinegar Francaise

From The Art of Cooking with Herbs and Spices


1/4 oz. each dried basil, rosemary, tarragon, marjoram, & mint

4 bay leaves, crushed

1 tsp. dill seed, crushed

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. whole cloves, crushed

2 quarts red wine vinegar

Blend all the herbs and spices in a large wide-mouthed jar. Pour vinegar over the herb mixture and cover. Allow to stand in a warm room for 2-3 weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain or filter and pour into bottles; cork tightly. Use 1 tsp. to 1 tbsp. vinegar in meat sauces, roasts and ragouts. It will be more fragrant if prepared with young, fresh leaves. Use 1 tbsp. fresh instead of 1/4 ounce dried or 2 tbsp. of fresh instead of 1/2 ounce dried.

Horseradish Root Vinegar


4 tbsp. freshly grated horseradish root

1 ounce minced shallot

1 quart distilled vinegar

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Wash and scrape root clean; grate; measure out 2 tbsp. Peel and mince shallots. Place horseradish, shallot, and cayenne pepper in a wide-mouthed jar; blend well by stirring. Pour vinegar over herbs; cover. Allow to stand in warm place for 2 weeks; shake occasionally. Strain, bottle and corn tightly. Use to flavor salad dressings.

Berry Lemon Vinegar


2 cups vinegar (distilled, wine or cider)

2 cups red/black raspberries and/or blackberries

6 sprigs of lemon balm or lemon verbena

Bring the raspberries and vinegar to a gentle boil in a non-aluminum pan over medium heat. Simmer for 2 minutes or so. Allow to cool, then strain through a piece of cheesecloth into a bowl, pressing the berries as you do so till all liquid is drained. Place the lemon balm in a glass jar and pour the strained vinegar over it. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Some people add pinch of sugar as well. Use in recipes calling for herb vinegar or raspberry vinegar

Red Pepper Rosemary Vinegar


1/2 to 1 cup dried red chili peppers (I've used fresh too)

4 cloves garlic, peeled

5-6 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 cups white or wine vinegar

Place the chilies, garlic and rosemary in clean 2 quart glass jar. Crush everything lightly with a wooden spoon, and pour over the vinegar. Cover and allow to sit for about 4 weeks. Strain and use in marinades, dressings and for bastings.



About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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