If you’re new to home herb gardening you might not bear in mind that there are interesting methods of preserving herbs for extended periods as soon as you’ve grown them. You may preserve them to prepare aromatic infusions or you may preserve them by drying or freezing. However, maintaining in vinegar is one of the simplest and easiest methods for ensuring you are able to continue to enjoy your herbs during the year as soon as you’ve harvested them.
In this column I’ll introduce you to a unknown (and possibly strange!) Ways of utilizing herb vinegars, and then go on to describe how you can create your own vinegars from your favourite herbs and herb combinations.
Ways of Using it
Herb maintaining using vinegar can create delicious and flavorsome vinegars for use on salads and cooking, but you can also use herbal vinegars cosmetically, and also to treat common health conditions:
- Mint and marigold vinegar when diluted and splashed over the face is said to help enhance the tone of their skin
- Alfazema vinegar when used as a compress often helps to alleviate headaches
- Some herbal vinegars can be used as antiseptics for cleansing and poultices
And there are quite a few other methods of utilizing herb vinegars, some of them centuries old – handed from mother to daughter for generations. Once you’ve made your first batch of herbal vinegars by following my directions below, I encourage you to take out some research to discover more about the various uses of plant and herbal vinegars.
Make Your Herbal Vinegars
I said earlier in this article that preserving herbs in vinegar is not tricky. All you need is wine or apple vinegar and a few clean jars with screw tops. Your herbs can be dried or fresh. Start with herbs but you could also use blossoms and spices to create vinegars.
- First fill your jar full with your herbs
- Next top-up your jar with wine or apple vinegar. Fasten the top and leave for two to three weeks
- The “infused” vinegar should have quite a strong flavor following this time period. If you would like it stronger, strain off the herbs and repeat the procedure using the exact same batch of vinegar
- Finally, strain the vinegar to remove the herbs and keep it in a suitable bottle.
You may create your herb vinegars look excellent in your table by using different shaped bottles and adding live sprigs of these fresh herbs to them (the vinegar preserves these sprigs so that they continue to look great for months). The new herbs will sink to just beneath the top layer of the vinegar, but they will open out to make an amazingly artistic impact that’s certain to attract the attention of your friends when they are next invited round for dinner!
Using herbs Combination
With a little bit of creativity you could also use precisely the same system to produce a range of vinegars with unique flavors, but rather than using one herb use a blend of herbs. Try the following:
- 1 part tarragon – 2 parts lemon balm, or
- 1 part basil – two parts salad burnett, or
- one part each of tarragon, basil & chives – two parts each of lemon thyme & salad burnett – 1 garlic clove
Here again I suggest that you do some investigating to learn about other exciting and interesting combinations for preserving herbs in vinegar.
Use Your Skills & Experiment
You now know all of the crucial truth about preserving herbs in vinegarand you can use precisely the same system for flowers, spices etc.. Attempt to prepare a few different herbal vinegars each year using the methods described. When you are feeling really confident and have a wide assortment of various herb vinegars in your kitchen shelves, you may also try selling them and giving them as gifts to your friends!