I like herbal vinegars because they are simple to prepare and can be used to flavor everything from marinades and salad dressings to French fries – and they make great gifts, too! When you’re trying to preserve the subtle flavors of herbs, you’ll find that some of the best vinegars to use are those made from wines. While white and cider vinegars will work, I’ve found they can be strong and sometimes overpower the delicate aroma. Whatever vinegar you use, make sure it has at least five percent acidity. and when it comes to the flavor, that’s entirely up to you. Any combination of herbs will work. This blend of garlic and basil is one of my favorites.


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and tightly packed
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 quart wine vinegar
  • quart jar
  • plastic wrap
  • glass bottle with cap


  1. Begin by washing the basil and patting it dry. Make sure the leaves are completely dry because water will make the vinegar cloudy.
  2. Next combine 1 full cup of packed basil leaves and 3 crushed cloves of garlic in a sterilized quart jar.
  3. Fill the jar with vinegar to near full and bruise the leaves with a wooden spoon. The bruising helps the flavor of the herb integrate with the vinegar.
  4. Cover the jar with a piece of plastic; place it in a cool, dark cupboard for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking it occasionally.
  5. After the recommended time strain the solution into a hot, sterilized bottle and add a stem of the herb for identification. Herbal vinegars will last about 6 months. If you omit the identifying stems, it will last even longer.