Making Herbal Vinegars

Herbal Vinegars

If you saw my segment on Fox13 The Place you might want a little more information about making herbal vinegars. Here are some instructions and tips: (If you missed it you can see it here along with my other appearances on Fox13 The Place).

Herbal vinegars are a great way to preserve herbs, use in cooking, and make great gifts

Herbal vinegars are easy to make and have a multitude of uses

Some herbal vinegars have been used to help with prevention from illness

Supplies for herbal vinegars

Apple Cider, red wine, white wine, rice, coconut, balsamic – do not use distilled (white) vinegar unless this vinegar is just for cleaning

Fresh or dried herbs

Clean food safe bottle with lid for steeping

 Clean food safe bottle with lid and/or spout for gifting/using. – use darker colored bottles for vinegars which may not have an attractive color (sage looks yellowish). Recycle vinegar or other bottles or purchase bottles. Hint: Vegetable oil and/or alcohol and/or vinegar can help with removing label residue after a good soak in water.

Fine strainer

Lint free cheesecloth or coffee filters for straining smaller pieces

Recycled ribbon or raffia for gift tag if for a gift

Ornament or other small gift (optional)

Consider enclosing a list of possible uses with the vinegar


Apple cider vinegar works better with stronger flavored herbs such as sage and oregano. Sage and oregano can be used with any of the other vinegars also.

Fill clean jar about half full of herbs. For lavender fill ¼ of the jar or less

If using a variety of herbs place heavier herbs on top (sliced ginger for example) to hold down the lighter weight herbs

Pour vinegar over herbs

Be sure all herbs are submerged in the vinegar

Put on the lid

Place in a cool, dark spot for a minimum of one week. Smell or taste after one week or just leave it for longer. If you desire a stronger scent or taste let steep for longer. More herbs and/or longer steeping will create and stronger flavor and scent in the final product.

When desired scent/taste is reached strain herbs strainer and then through cheesecloth or coffee filter. Pour strained vinegar into final bottle. Compost herbs and coffee filter after removing.

Reuse food safe, glass bottles including the bottle the vinegar was originally in or purchase food safe bottles.

If desired, place a sprig of the herb in the bottle after straining. If it looks like a science specimen then remove the sprig.


Uses of herbal vinegars

Choose the appropriate herb or herbs based on the final use.

Mix with oil of your choice for a salad dressing.

Use as a marinade

Add to soups, sauces, mashed potatoes, or vegetables or to the water when steaming vegetables.

Add to pies and other desserts

In place of non herbal vinegars in recipes

Add 2 teaspoons or more to drinking water

Mix with equal amounts of water for a facial rinse

Use a splash of vinegar in your bath

Add to laundry

Rinse dishes – especially glass

On skin for an insect repellent

Gargle for sore throat

If you don’t like the vinegar you can still use it for some of the above uses such as for cleaning, laundry, or as a hair rinse unless it contains garlic.

See books for more information and ideas: Making & Using Herbal Vinegars compiled by The Essential Herbal Magazine and Fire Cider! by Rosemary Gladstar

Rice vinegar with garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and Thai basil, Fire cider, Finished lavender vinegar, finished sage vinegar, finished rosemary vinegar