Plus Over 20 Ways to Use It in Food, Cleaning, and Herbal Remedies
Making infused vinegar is one of the first herbal preparations I learned. This simple technique can be used on any herb, fruit, or vegetable that suits your creative experiments. Once you know how easy it is to make you’ll never purchase expensive flavored vinegar again!
You can make your own creations of infused vinegar, and use it in culinary recipes as the base for a salad dressing, to marinate meat, poultry or fish; or toss it in with your favorite pasta salad.
You can use infused vinegar as a cleaning and laundry aid and there are many beneficial properties to using vinegar in herbal remedies and in the bath.
In this post, you’ll understand the different kinds of vinegar, learn how to infuse it, and get over 20 great recipes from some of my blogger friends. Read on to be inspired with infused vinegar…
Distilled white vinegar is clear in color with a sharp acidic taste. It is a good choice for delicately flavored herbs and is the best choice for cleaning. It is the least expensive of the group.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is milder in taste than distilled white vinegar. (This is the kind I use found at Amazon) The darker color may not be as desirable for light colored fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It blends well with dark berries.
There are several Wine vinegar flavors to choose from. They are more expensive than distilled and cider vinegar but they offer a wider range of flavor. Consider Red, White, and Champaign when creating your infused vinegar for culinary uses, they can make very smooth flavored products.
Rice Vinegar is slightly sweet with a mild flavor. It contains proteins that may promote bacterial growth if the vinegar is not handled and stored properly. For added safety, use only commercially produced vinegar and make sure you sterilize your containers and utensils.
Balsamic vinegar is the expensive child of this bunch. It is made from unfiltered and unfermented grape juice. The older the vinegar the sweeter and syrupy it becomes. If this is your choice, start in small batches until you reach a flavor you love.
Some of the plants and vegetables you may want to try include
- Citrus peels
- Lemon balm
- Or any combination of herbs and spices!
The large plant matter can be threaded onto a bamboo skewer and inserted in the vinegar jar. This way they can easily be removed when the desired flavor is reached. To impart more flavor slit the peppers, peel garlic, and slice onions before adding them to the vinegar. (source link)
How to Infuse Vinegar
Sterilize your jars by dipping them in boiling water or run them through a dishwasher cycle. Small neck jars will definitely need to be dipped.
Make sure you have non-corrosive lids (plastic or cork) or if using Mason jars, place plastic wrap over the neck before capping with the metal bands.
Wash the herbs and vegetables and thoroughly dry them with a clean towel. (We don’t use paper towels at our house)
Infusing Vinegar without Heat
Put your cleaned herbs, vegetables, or fruit into the sterilized glass jar and then fill the jar with the vinegar of your choice.
Let the vinegar condition in a cool dark place for 3-4 weeks to develop flavor.
To strain or not to strain…you decide.
Strain the vinegar through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth so that it catches any sediment. Discard the herbs and store the flavor infused vinegar in your sterilized bottle. OR, leave the herbs in the vinegar for a visually appealing treat.
Hard stemmed herbs like rosemary, lemon balm, and peppermint, or vegetables like garlic and ginger, are able to hold up when submerged in vinegar for long periods of time. Delicate fruits are best strained.
You can safely store the finished vinegar in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. No refrigeration required.
Infusing Vinegar with Heat
Some people prefer to heat the vinegar to 190-195ºF, and then pour the hot vinegar over the herbs. Heating the vinegar ahead of time may speed the process for a finished product.
Others like to add the vinegar and herbs / fruit/ vegetables to a small, stainless steel saucepan and bring it all to a boil over high heat and then simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove it from the heat and allow to completely cool before continuing with the jarring process.
Put the heated herbs, vegetables, or fruit into the sterilized glass jar and let the vinegar condition in a cool dark place for 2-4 weeks to develop additional flavor.
Strain the vinegar through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth so that it catches any sediment. Discard the herbs and store the flavor infused vinegar in your sterilized bottle.
You can store the finished vinegar in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Culinary recipes using infused vinegar
Fresh Bites Daily gives us a great overview of culinary vinegars.
.. What can be easier than popping some plant material into a jar and topping up with vinegar? The sky’s the limit ~ culinary herbs, spices, wild flowers and a myriad of vinegars are possible….Amanda Rose
Family Spice is combining oranges and balsamic vinegar into a tasty treat.
Eat Weeds is using pine needles to flavor her vinegar.
Taste of Home is making strawberry vinegar.
Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen is making blackberry vinegar and some other yummy pairings like vanilla bean and white wine vinegar.
This Raspberry Vinegar from The Yummy Life looks amazing.
You really should check out this recipe from Oyster’s and Pears, if only to view the beautiful picture of the finished product. I can’t wait to make this Southern Pepper Sauce!
Create your own Blueberry Vinegar from High Ground Organics.
Make Chive Blossom Infused Vinegar with this recipe from Grow a Good Life. It’s wonderful in marinades and salad dressings.
Make infused vinegar with frozen berries by using this tutorial from Homespun Seasonal Living.
Drinking vinegars are basically homemade concoctions of vinegar, sugar, and some kind of plant matter, they are called a Scrub. Make your own with this tutorial from the Drunken Botanist.
Use vinegar in the bath as a great overall detoxifier. It is useful for muscle aches and pains brought on by physical exertion. It is also the best detox bath choice for those with candida issues that affect the skin as it returns the skin to an optimal, slightly acidic pH which is a difficult environment for candida to thrive. (source ) Some people use straight up ACV but why not liven it up a bit with beneficial herbs?
Rose petal vinegar from The Nerdy Farm Wife.
Chickweed Bath Vinegar from Homespun Seasonal Living.
The Herbal Academy is making herb infused hair rinse with this recipe.
Orange Infused Vinegar is part of the popular post 24 Uses for Oranges here on PreparednessMama.
Homemade Citrus Laundry Wash and Vinegar Cleaner from The Homestead Lady.
Lavender Sage All-Purpose Spray Cleaner from Hello Glow
5 Uses for Lavender Vinegar from The Nerdy Farm Wife
Use infused vinegar for herbal remedies
My family’s favorite Vinegar Infused Cold Remedy. We use it every year at the first sign of a cold.
An infusion of plantain leaf (dried or fresh) in apple cider vinegar is extremely soothing. As a result, spraying plantain infused vinegar on a sunburn will cool the burn and relieve pain very quickly.
Fresh Bites Daily is making dandelion infused vinegar to aid in food digestion.
Creamer Chronicles explains the benefits of rose infused vinegar as it promotes bile flow, is a decongestant and protective of the liver, and is great for calming allergies.
You can make another version of cold fighting Fire Box Vinegar with this recipe from Pixie’s Pocket
What if you could make herbal vinegars which can prevent osteoporosis and possibly reverse it? Guess what? We can!! Author Carol Little at Studio Botanica has several suggestions for getting your daily calcium intake from an herb infused vinegar.
Whether for culinary uses, or for bath, cleaning, and herbal preparations, making infused vinegar is easy to do and a great way to use up leftover household and garden items. You really have no excuse!