Herbal Vinegars

by Trisha Shirey

Vinegars: white wine,? white wine champagne, rice wine; for stronger herbs like sage or rosemary, try? apple cider vinegar.

Use a non-reactive container. Avoid plastic bottles and metal lids. Recycled glass salad dressing bottles with? plastic lids are good. Keep an eye out? for fun containers! Be sure to sterilize? them first.

When selecting herbs, avoid ones with flowers, since the? pollen will cloud the vinegar. Wash and? dry them. It’s essential that they are? completely dry. You can set them on a? paper towel for a few hours, occasionally turning them or gently pressing? them. Avoid energetic squeezing which? bruises them.

Fill each container 1/3 to 1/2 full of herbs. Heat the vinegar to a simmer, but do not? boil. Again, avoid heating in a reactive? container. Use stainless or for a small? amount, use a glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave.

Pour the heated vinegar over the herbs and cap? immediately. For a few days, shake? gently. The herbs will wilt, so if? you’re giving the vinegar as a gift, simply put fresh herbs in another? sterilized container, and pour the finished one into the new jar.

Along with herbs, you can do fruits, like a strawberry mint? in rice vinegar. Or try rosemary with garlic? and peppers. The fun of making your own? vinegar is that you can experiment with your favorite flavors to complement a? meal.

A fun way to label the container is with a gold or silver? paint pen, available at craft stores.