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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Great Gifts, Homemade Herbal Vinegar


One of my favorite gifts to make, and to give, is homemade herbal vinegar. It's pretty, it's useful,  it's delicious, and it looks more expensive than it is:)
Make sure you start with clean sterilized bottles, most dishwashers have a setting for this, but you can always boil your bottles and your lids if you need to.  Wash and clean all herbs, spices, or fruits. 
One of my favorite herbs to use (I usually grow it in my garden) is dark opal basil (the bottle on the right). It turns vinegar a beautiful cranberry color and adds the wonderful flavor of basil.  Try herbs and spices in different combinations, it's really a lot of fun.


Take the prepared bottle, add all the spices first.

Add fresh herbs, leaving the parsley for last (it's great for holding down any floating spices). To arrange the fresh herbs, use a long bamboo skewer as a tool.

Finish by adding your favorite vinegar.  My favorites are apple cider, white wine, and rice, but you can use any flavor.   Fill to 1/2 inch of the top and push stopper in 1/2 way.

Let set 24 hours and then refill again (the herbs and spices will soak up some of the vinegar).

 The flavor will become stronger as it sits, and it's best to let it steep for 2 days to 2 weeks in the refrigerator before using.  If any of the herbs have lost too much color or look limp you can replace them with a bamboo skewer.  After using, refill with vinegar right away and most will last 6 to 8 months. (plant material must remain covered with vinegar).


When your ready to give your vinegar as a gift, you can put it in a wine gift bag or just put a pretty ribbon around the neck)
In addition to fresh herbs try these fun flavors
Roasted Sun Dried Tomatoes
Chipotle Peppers
Coriander Seeds
Peppercorns
Bay Leaves
Dried Cherries
Dried Cranberries
Organic Lavender
Organic Rose Petals
Organic Nasturtium Flowers
Chive Flowers

2 comments:

  1. I grow dark opal basil too...and many others...love, love, love basil!!! And flavored vinegars...mmmm!
    They look wonderful and you are so right that they would make an elegant gift! Thanks for another lovely post Shannon! xo Lorraine

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