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Homemade Vinegar Infused with Herbs

Homemade Vinegar Infused with Herbs is such a fun project because it encompasses several of my passions–cooking recipes, gardening and crafting.  I’m in Heaven!!!

homemade vinegar infused with herbs 2 shows 3 wine bottles with herbs suspended in the white wine vinegar

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If you are looking for what to do with those garden herbs you have, this post is one you will want to take note of. I generally take my herbs indoors during the winter months, but that might not be possible for some of you. Why not put some of those herbs to good use by making Homemade Vinegar Infused with Herbs. Read on to find out more.

If you are interested in overwintering your herbs, you may have luck doing so in your garage, basement or closet if the temperatures do not dip much below freezing. Actually, they should go dormant. Just check them periodically. They will probably require watering about once per month. Some herbs are perennial, meaning they will come back each year, even though they will look dead. Other perennial herbs will basically stop growing when they go into dormancy. Just be sure to slowly acclimate them to the sunshine in the spring.

When I made my vinegars, I wanted to start with the best vinegar I could. For me, that is white wine vinegar. I am sure you can find large containers at Sam’s or Costco. Since I do not live near those stores, I got my base vinegar from Walmart–Great Value White Wine Vinegar–12.7 ounces. The three wine bottles of vinegar that I made required 5 1/2 bottles of the base vinegar. Just do not use regular distilled vinegar. Save that for cleaning out the coffee pot.

My herbs consisted of Thyme, Sage, Rosemary, Parsley and Oregano. I also wanted to infuse the vinegar with some fruits, so I used raspberries and blackberries. If I were to do this project again, I would not use the blackberries because they were so large, I had to cut them in half to get them inside the wine bottle. I believe blueberries would have been a better choice.

You will want to purchase some plastic stoppers for your wine bottles. Just google it. In fact, make sure you only use plastic, no metal, when you are making your vinegar.

I wanted to use colorful jute twine to wrap the necks of my wine bottles. To achieve the colors, I just put 5-6 drops of food coloring into a disposable plastic cup along with 1/4 cup of water. I soaked about 6 foot each of jute twine for a couple of hours in the mixture. Then I drained them on paper towels and hung them outside for about an hour to dry. When the twine is wet, you will not notice much change in color, but as they dry, the color becomes more intense.

Homemade Vinegar Infused with Herbs:

homemade vinegar infused with herbs 3 shows wine bottles wrapped in green, blue and pink twine

The most labor-intensive part of this project was removing the labels from the wine bottles. First, I soaked the bottles overnight in sudsy water. In the morning, I peeled off as much of the label as I could. Then I used a product called Goo-gone to remove the rest of the label and the sticky residue. I also used a produce called Lestoil which was actually better than the Goo-gone, but not as readily available. Once your bottles are clear, dry them completely.

Gather your herbs (and fruit) that you will be using. Rinse each under running water, throwing away any bare stems or brown areas, and blot with paper towels.

For my labels, I used a pretty card stock I had. I pinked the edges with fancy scissors and hole-punched for tying on the bottles. You could also use pretty labels that you buy or create them on your computer.

Now you are ready for the fun part of assembling. Using a white craft glue or Elmer’s glue, run several beads of glue around the neck of each bottle covering several inches (do one bottle at a time). Carefully wind the twine around the neck of each bottle, beginning and stopping in about the same area for easy tying of the label. Add the label last after adding the herbs and vinegar.

Now it is time to add your herbs (and fruits) to the bottles. I chose to make one called Scarborough Fair (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme). This one I plan to give to a special friend. So I left the front label on from a bottle we liked to share and enjoy often. The next one was with rosemary, sage and blackberries. And the third one contained oregano and raspberries. You may need to use a long wooden spoon handle to push the herbs inside the bottles.

Homemade Vinegar Infused with Herbs:

homemade vinegar infused with herbs 4 shows herbs being poked into the wine bottle with a wooden spoon handle

Now add your white wine vinegar to the bottles using a plastic funnel. I filled mine up to the bottom of the twine. The herbs and fruit will absorb some of the vinegar. To compensate for this, the next day add a little more vinegar.

The last step is to add your labels. Using a pretty marker, write the herbs (and fruit) contents on the labels. I also wrote the year and my initials on the labels. Finally, add the plastic pour stoppers.

As the vinegar ages, you will notice color changes to your herbs and fruits. This is perfectly normal. It is very tempting to put these pretty bottles in the kitchen window, but this is not a good idea, because the sun will make the vinegar cloudy. The vinegar will keep in your pantry for at least six months.

I hope you enjoy making Homemade Vinegar Infused with Herbs as much as I did. These would make excellent gifts for giving. Use your vinegars for making slaw, salad vinaigrette, marinade, barbecue sauce, baked beans–anywhere that you would normally use vinegar. Happy gardening, crafting and cooking!

Homemade Vinegar Infused with Herbs:

homemade vinegar infused with herbs 5 shows the completed 3 wine bottles filled with vinegar herbs and berries

Another fun idea, courtesy of my sister,  is to make basil cigars with your herbs. This way, you can use your garden herbs all winter long. Just bunch your basil leaves together, a few at a time, rolling into the shape of a cigar. Place your basil cigar in a snack-size baggie and freeze. When you want basil for a recipe, remove your basil cigar from the freezer bag and slice off as much as you need. Return the remainder to your freezer. You’ll find this method much fresher than using that dried, store-bought stuff.

Basil Cigars:

homemade vinegar infused with herbs 6 shows how to make a basil cigar

For more about Herbs, see my post on Herbs 101. Another resource worth checking out is a favorite magazine, Better Homes & Gardens.

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If you enjoyed this post, please give it a like and share, and let me know what you thought in the comments.

About Renea–I have been an avid gardener for over 40 years. In addition, I have had extensive undergraduate-level horticulture training and have written several articles for my local newspaper.



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