Fool-proof vinegar infusions
November 22, 2011 9:09 PM   Subscribe

I want to make infused herbal vinegars for holiday gifts, but I'm bewildered by all of the different recipes and ratios online. And I don't have enough time to experiment!

I'm particularly interested in recipes with mint, lemon, garlic, and other savory flavors. Mint-lemon-garlic together sounds divine, but other combinations would be good too. I'd prefer to use herbs available now from the farmers' markets here in the southern US.

What type of vinegar should I use? What's the optimal ratio of vinegar to herbs? Should it be heated or not? Can I leave herbs in the container for decoration?

The more fool-proof your recipe, the better -- I gather it'll take almost until Christmas to infuse, so I have no margin for error.

Anon because some of my gift-ees are around. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Food & Drink (1 answer total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I did the herb vinegars from Berley's Modern Vegetarian Kitchen one year. For stronger herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme, savory), use red wine or apple cider vinegar. For mint, tarragon, lemon balm, etc., use white wine or rice vinegar.
He does "2 large bunches herbs" (whatever that is; I just chucked a handful of washed and well-dried greens in) to 4 cups vinegar, unheated, sitting for minimum one week, and adds a fresh sprig of the herb to the bottle afterwards. I think I might have left mine for longer than a week -- maybe two. The tarragon vinegar was really nice, and I bet a lemon balm or sorrel one would be awesome too.
posted by bluebelle at 6:38 AM on November 23, 2011

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