Herb infused vinegars are easy to make, no chopping, cooking or tricky techniques needed. All that's needed to make herb vinegar are:
* Fresh herbs from your garden (or farmer's market)
* Vinegar (red wine, white wine, rice wine and/or Champagne)
* Glass jars with cork lids (any non-metallic lid will work)
* Sauce pan, strainer and coffee filter
**To make herb vinegar, you'll need one cup of fresh herbs for every two cups of vinegar. This is the basic herb vinegar recipe which can easily be adjusted to include a combination of herbs, garlic cloves, peppercorns and other seasoning.
Gather Fresh Herbs in Morning
Gather herbs from the garden in the morning, just after the dew dries but before the sun hits them, when they are at their peak of flavor. Rinse herbs under cool water, pat dry with kitchen towel then crumple herbs to release maximum flavor.
Fill Glass Jars with Herbs and Vinegar
Place fresh, crumpled herbs and other seasonings into sterilized glass jars. Use one cup of herbs for every two cups of vinegar the jar will hold. Any glass jars that do not have metallic lids will work for vinegar steeping and storage. Vinegar will turn metallic lids dark, but if they must be used during the herb vinegar making process, cover mouth of jar with plastic wrap before putting the metal lid on the jar.
Heat and Pour Vinegar
Heat vinegar in a non-aluminum sauce pan over medium heat until bubbles just begin to appear (do not allow vinegar to boil). Remove from heat and pour hot vinegar into prepared jars, making sure herbs are totally submerged. Allow jars to cool completely, cover jars with lids and place jars in refrigerator for at least one week. This is 'standing' time for the herb vinegar and the longer the herbs and vinegar stand, the more intense the flavor will be.
Strain Herb Vinegar and Re-bottle
When herb vinegar is done standing, it's ready to strain and use. Line a wire strainer with a paper coffee filter and pour vinegar mixture through into a spouted container, discard herbs and seasonings.
Wash the jars used for vinegar standing or have clean jars ready to pour strained herb vinegar into. Fresh sprigs of herbs can be placed into clean bottles before pouring vinegar in, if desired. Pour strained herb vinegar in, tightly seal with non-metallic lids and store in refrigerator to use as needed.
Herb Vinegar Recipes
To make Italian herb vinegar, place one-fourth cup each of basil, oregano, marjoram, chives and thyme in glass jar. Add two smashed garlic cloves and cover with one cup of heated white wine vinegar and one cup heated red wine vinegar.
Create a batch of herb peppercorn vinegar by placing one tablespoon of black peppercorns, one tablespoon of white peppercorns, two – six inch long strips of lemon peel and one-fourth cup of fresh thyme in a bottle and covering it with two cups of heat white wine vinegar.
Classic tarragon vinegar is made by placing one cup of fresh tarragon in a glass jar and covering it with two cups of heated Champagne vinegar.