DIY Gifts: Homemade Herbal Vinegar

Homemade vinegar

Gather garlic, fresh cut herbs from the garden and enough vinegar to fill a bottle.

Homemade vinegar

Peel the garlic and put it into the bottle.

Homemade vinegar

Pour vinegar over.

Homemade vinegar

The finished product.

A delightful DIY gift: homemade vinegar with fresh herbs

Herbal vinegars are a snap to whip up and make a lovely hostess gift. All you need for this gourmet treat are fresh herbs, your choice of vinegar, a sunny day and beautiful, clean glass bottles with tight-fitting cork or plastic tops.

DIY herbal vinegar

Step one: Gather the ingredients for the recipe you have ­chosen and cut fresh herbs from the garden. Step two: Rinse the herbs and allow them to dry completely. If water mixes with the vinegar it may make the vinegar cloudy in appearance. Step three: Assemble your bottles and plastic insert spouts or new corks (do not use metal as it will rust). Sterilize the ­bottles in the dishwasher. Step four: Place the vinegar in a pot and heat until it’s just about to boil. Remove from the heat and cool slightly, so that it won’t burn the skin if it spills and won’t crack the glass. Step five: Stuff the herbs into the sterilized bottles and fill with the warmed vinegar; be sure the herbs are completely covered. Cork the bottles and place in the sun for one full afternoon, then store in the fridge. The vinegar is ready immediately and will keep for up to three months. Step six: If giving as a gift, decorate with raffia or ribbon.

Herbal Vinegar Combos

The more herbs you use, the stronger the flavour will be; as a general rule, use 25 per cent herbs and 75 per cent vinegar. Try the following suggestions or experiment with whatever herbs you like, such as bay leaves, mint, oregano, sage, parsley, dill or fennel. Mexican Combo: White vinegar, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno pepper Balsamic Eruption: Balsamic vinegar, garlic, hot Thai pepper Italian Zest: White wine vinegar, thyme, rosemary, tarragon Basil Bust: Apple cider vinegar, garlic, purple basil Lemon Lemon: White wine vinegar, lemon balm, lemon thyme Article by Sheena Adams. All images by Terry Guscott