Who would have thought a cask of wine gone bad some 10,000 years ago would have produced such a magical, medicinal and/or flavorful elixir? Of course, I speak of vinegar or as the French call it vin aigre, "sour wine."
Since spring is upon us and herbs are going wild in the garden, it is a perfect time to combine the two. Using empty wine bottles, appropriately enough, or other clean glass empty bottles you may have around the house, creating infused vinegars is easy and a tasty compliment to salads, grilled vegetables, sauces and marinades. I have an abundance of rosemary and flowering lemon thyme, so I am filling up my bottles with these herbs. These unique infused vinegars make great gifts; I even make my own labels for them.
How to infuse vinegar
- Fresh herbs including rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano. tarragon, dill
- White vinegar
- Clean glass bottle with screw top or reused cork
- Bamboo skewer
- Gently wash and pat dry the herbs. Place in bottle and push down with bamboo skewer if needed. You can also add whole peeled garlic cloves and spices, but use them whole, otherwise your vinegar will be murky. Using your funnel, pour the white vinegar and fill to about 1/2 inch from the top and place topper or cork.
- Let the vinegar set overnight. You can use your vinegar the next day, but it will become more robust as it sits. Also, you can refill your bottle with vinegar after use and your own magical elixir will last up to six months.