Friday, July 04, 2008

Herb-Infused Vinegars

A few folks have asked me lately for tips on making infused vinegars and oils. Vinegars are much easier (and safer) to work with when it comes to infusing, and makes a great starting point. You can find decorative bottles or jars at Cost Plus. I generally reuse white wine vinegar bottles or those great bottles European water or soft drinks come in.

*Start with white wine, cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar.

*As a rule of thumb, add half cup of fresh herbs to 2 cups of vinegar.

*Steep leaves in vinegar at room temp for 2 weeks, then strain and discard the leaves. I do this step in a jar large enough to hold about four cups of liquid.
*Add fresh herbs to your presentation bottle, and funnel the infused vinegar in.
*One you strain the finished vinegar into pretty or useful bottles, you can seal the top with colored wax from the craft store but it's not necessary.

*You can also mix herbs (rosemary and tarragon might be nice), work with herbs to provide a nice color (purple basil tints the vinegar pink), or add dried spices (peppercorns, coriander seed, or even juniper berries can work.)

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