Make Wine Vinegar:
How to Make Herb Vinegar
When you make wine vinegar from your wine leftovers, you might want to learn how to make herb vinegar. Besides having great herb aromas and flavors, adding herbs to your homemade vinegar seems to interact beautifully with a nice vinegar, accenting the aromas and making them blossom. Like boiling down and reducing a vinegar to increase the flavors, adding herbs and other flavorings can really take your vinegar to a new level. You can even use the same technique to infuse store-bought vinegars with herb flavors. You can use this method whether you made vinegar by the Single Batch Jug Method or the Continuous Barrel Fermentation Method. Here is how you can make herb wine vinegar!
What you will need:
- Vinegar that you just made or store-bought
- Abundant fresh herbs: You can make wine herb vinegar with a single herb or you can make complex concoctions of numerous herbs, it is up to you! Some popular single herb vinegars include tarragon and thyme. Another classic vinegar is elderberry flower vinegar, if you can find elderberry flowers. Other herbs to include are numerous but include marjoram, bay, oregano, savory, hyssop, lavendar and others. It is also nice to throw in a clove or two of un-peeled, smashed garlic. Remember that some herb flavors are more dominant and pungent than others so use less of things like rosemary, sage or bay which have very strong, dominant aromas. Experiment and find a combination you like. Or try something different each time so you have a variety of different types of vinegars.
- Cheesecloth or coffee filters for straining
- A non-reactive earthenware or enameled pot for boiling
- Food-safe funnel for bottling
How to Make Wine Vinegar:
- After you make wine vinegar, boil it down to reduce it and concentrate its flavors as described in the other sections on making wine vinegar. To estimate best, I put a long straight stick, such as a chop stick or wooden spoon to the bottom of the pot. I then mark the level of the vinegar with a marker. We then measure half the distance to that mark from the end and mark there. We boil it down slowly until the level of vinegar reaches close to the lower mark.
- Turn off the heat and immediately toss in an abundance of herbs and a clove or two of smashed garlic. Mix a bit and cover. Let sit until completely cooled to room temperature. When you make wine vinegar that you add herbs to, be sure to add the herbs when the vinegar is boiling hot. This will kill any bacteria and/or yeast that are on the herbs so that they do not contaminate the vinegar.
- When the vinegar is completely cool, strain and bottle the vinegar as usual into clean bottles and seal.
- Your wine vinegar is now ready! You can use it immediately but if you store it it will get better and better as it sits. The flavors of the herbs will soften and integrate with the wine flavors beautifully.
For instructions on how to make wine vinegar see either our Make Vinegar in a Glass Jug page or our Make Vinegar in a Barrel page!
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