Sauces & Seasonings Recipes
3 DIY Infused Vinegars
Infused vinegars have a rustic elegance that’s very appealing — citrus curls and wispy herbs hang in the pale vinegars like a botanical drawing, and the bottles themselves belong on the shelves of an apothecary shop. Oh, how they’ll light up your Instagram!
They’ll also light up your recipes: these flavorsome vinegars are handy for everything from making vinaigrettes to brightening sauces to finishing a pot of beans to quick-pickling veggies. They’re also magic in a shrub or a tall glass of summer switchel.
Here, we’ve created three different flavor profiles, as well as some tasting notes and recipe ideas from the test kitchen. Think of the whole thing as a jumping-off point. These vinegars will be great basically anywhere you use vinegar, and we hope they’ll inspire you to create your own infused-vinegar recipes.
Rice wine, lemongrass, lemon peel, and thyme
Rice wine vinegar is great for infusions because it’s super mild. We love it with the combination of lemongrass and thyme — it tastes like a salad dressing all by itself. So light and refreshing!
We would definitely use this subtle vinegar to finish a creamy pan sauce. It’s a natural wherever you want to add a little zip, but you don’t want to harsh on anyone’s mellow — think light vinaigrettes or marinades. In the test kitchen, we also sprinkled it over our rice bowls and steamed veggies.
Champagne vinegar, rosemary, and garlic
Champagne vinegar is light and crisp, and has a fresh, lively flavor. Sipping it off a spoon, we found this infusion nice and bright with big rosemary notes and a garlicky finish.
Because it is so bold and flavorful, this is the vinegar we’d whisk together with olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt — and then dip our bread into it. Its savory notes will also be spectacular in a rich pasta sauce, garlic aioli, or bold marinade. And we would definitely sprinkle it over a sandwich or stir a tablespoon or two through a pot of lentil soup.
White wine vinegar, hibiscus, orange, and allspice
Is there such a thing as sipping vinegars? If so, this is one. The hibiscus and orange rind smooth the sharp edges off the white vinegar, leaving you with a lovely flavor — sweet and floral with allspice overtones.
This infusion will be terrific for quick-pickling alliums, like red onions. We’d also love its fruity notes in something like a citrus or raspberry salad dressing, a vibrant chutney, or a sweeter marinade for chicken or pork. Adding vinegar to a pie dough? Use this one.
3 DIY Infused Vinegars
For each infused vinegar: In a clean Mason jar, combine all of the ingredients and seal the lid. Let the vinegars infuse at room temperature, tasting every few days, until it reaches your desired flavor, about 1 week.
Strain each vinegar into a clean oil or vinegar bottle and discard the aromatics. Enjoy!
The vinegars can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 months.