attainable sustainable book cover
Check out my new book!

A Publishers Weekly top ten pick from National Geographic Books!

Make Infused Vinegar at Home for Gourmet Flavor on the Cheap

May contain affiliate links. Please see my privacy policy and affiliate disclosure.

Infused vinegar is super easy to make, especially with berries and small juicy fruit like cherries or pomegranates. It’s a simple matter of combining the right ingredients and allowing the flavors to meld over time. Gourmet vinegar makes great gifts; it’s so much less expensive than the store bought flavored vinegar. (See below for packaging ideas!)

You might even want to try it in this recipe for caramelized onion jam with balsamic vinegar.

canning jar with berries and herbs behind a jar with infused vinegar

Have you tried the expensive infused vinegar from specialty stores? This gourmet vinegar runs about $30 for 500 ml here in Canada or about $25 (US) for a pint. This flavored vinegar makes an exciting and easy vinaigrette combined with (just as expensive) infused olive oil. I bought them for a few months until I came to my senses.

Infused vinegar is super easy to make, especially with berries and small juicy fruit like cherries or pomegranates. If you garden you probably have the small handfuls of fruit the recipe calls for, at the beginning and the end of your berry harvests.

Related: Homemade Grainy Mustard Recipe

blackberries and mint on a white background

Flavored vinegar infused with fruit

With a just a few steps you can have a quality fruit-infused flavored vinegar at home for 80% less than the cost of the specialty store bottles. And your homemade infused vinegar will be fresher. When you make your own gourmet vinegar, you can customize the flavors to your family’s taste.

blackberries and mint in a glass canning jar

Related: Banana Peppers: Fermented Hot Sauce Recipe

Pair fresh berries with herbs like fresh basil, fennel, or dill for a unique flavor profile that you can’t find even in the specialty stores. You’ll use a 1:1 ratio of fruit or fruit and herbs to vinegar. If you have only a handful of fruit, add more herbs to the recipe. If you have lots of fruit, skip the herbs.

Store the flavored vinegar in wine bottles or small colored glass bottles for gift giving. The completed gourmet vinegar is stable at room temperature.

blackberries and mint in a glass canning jar making infused vinegar

Gourmet infused vinegar for less

You’ll need white balsamic vinegar for this recipe. Balsamic vinegar is sweet wine vinegar made from green grapes and aged in oak barrels. I can buy cheap white balsamic at my local grocery store for $4 for 500 grams, about 16 fluid ounces. White wine vinegar will also work but you’ll want to add some honey to sweeten your flavored vinegar a bit.

Don’t use apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar. The flavor will be disappointing with the strong acid taste of these other vinegars. [Note from Kris: Be aware of this issue when choosing your white wine vinegar.]

canning jar with berries and herbs behind a glass pitcher with infused vinegar

★ Did you make this infused vinegar? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

canning jar with berries and herbs behind a jar with infused vinegar

Berry Infused Vinegar

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

My personal favorite is raspberry or blackberry infused vinegar. The berries release a lot of juice and flavor into the vinegar without effort. You can double or triple this recipe or even cut it in half to make use of the berries you have on hand. Keep the proportions the same 1:1 berries and herbs to vinegar.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups fresh berries like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, mulberries, or cherries
  • 1 cup herbs like basil, mint, citrus zest, or shallots

Instructions

Infuse the vinegar

  1. Warm the vinegar in a pan on the stove, until it just begins to steam. Don’t let it simmer or boil. Place the berries in a clean and sanitized wide-mouth mason jar. Use a muddler to tamp down the fruit to release a little juice. Chop the herbs finely, to release their aromatic essence. Add them to the jar. Pour the warmed vinegar over the herbs and fruit in the jar. Cap tightly.
  2. Place it in a spot on the counter where you’ll remember it. Shake the jar gently once a day.

Pasteurize the vinegar

  1. After two weeks, strain the gourmet vinegar. Reserve the liquid. Set the fruit aside to use in another recipe. (The leftover fruit can be used as a marinade or fruit basting sauce for meat, poultry, or fish.)
  2. Place the strained vinegar in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and hold it there for 10 minutes. Don’t let it boil. Turn off the heat. Allow it to cool slightly.
  3. Clean and sanitize a glass bottle. Warm the bottle in the oven at 150°F while the vinegar is pasteurizing. You can use the bottle that the vinegar originally came in.
  4. Pour the pasteurized vinegar into the warmed bottle, using a funnel. Cap with a cork or a screw cap. Once this is pasteurized, keep the infused vinegar at room temperature. The high acid value of the vinegar means that botulism spores can’t develop. This vinegar lasts indefinitely if kept at room temperature in a cool, dark place. If the vinegar is not pasteurized it should be kept refrigerated and used within 3 months.

Notes

You’ll use a 1:1 ratio of fruit or fruit and herbs to vinegar. If you have only a handful of fruit, add more herbs to the recipe. If you have lots of fruit, skip the herbs.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 66Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 10g

Did you make this recipe?

Share an image on Instagram and tag @attainablesustainable with #attainablesustainable!

flavored vinegar in a glass jar; berries and herbs from making infused vinegar behind

Packaging flavored vinegar for gift giving

I have a bottle collection. Fancy bottles from liqueurs, the green glass bottles from the olive oil store, ice wine bottles; they’re all great for filling and gifting. Use a cork or rubber stopper to close the bottles.

My favorite presentation is to seal the bottle with a wine cork, and cover with the heat seals used for wine bottles. It’s fast and elegant, only requiring a heat gun. Tie a note card or tag with the following recipe to the bottle of flavored vinegar. (Here’s a cute way to wrap the bottles!)

Write the kind of berry that your fruit infused vinegar is made from. If you made blackberry vinegar, write the card for ‘Blackberry Vinaigrette’. If you made cherry infused vinegar, write the card for ‘Cherry Vinaigrette’.

How to Make Raspberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

¼ cup raspberry vinegar
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp. Dijon mustard

Method:

Pour all the ingredients in a small jar. Blend with an immersion blender for 30 seconds until the dressing is thick. Serve.

Originally published in August 2016; this post has been updated.

Click to save or share!

Meet the Author

Chris Dalziel

Chris is the author of The Beeswax Workshop: How to Make Your Own Natural Candles, Cosmetics, Cleaners, Soaps, Healing Balms, and More. She is a teacher, author, gardener, and community herbalist with 30+ years of growing herbs and formulating herbal remedies, skin care products, soaps, and candles. She teaches workshops and writes extensively about gardening, crafts, and medicinal herbs on her blog at JoybileeFarm.com. Chris's other titles include The Beginner’s Book of Essential Oils: Learning to Use Your First 10 Essential Oils with Confidence and Homegrown Healing, From Seed to Apothecary. Chris lives with her husband Robin in the mountains of British Columbia on a 140 acre ranch, with sheep, dairy goats, llamas, and a few retired chickens. They have 3 adult children and 3 granddaughters. All photos courtesy of Chris.

21 comments… add one
  • Chris Aug 23, 2016, 6:59 pm

    Thanks Chris! I infuse dark balsamic with pears, cherries, raspberries – love it! I get the balsamic from Costco, can’t often find the light balsamic for as good a price. Once I take out the fruit I’ve dried it, it gets black and sticky and all kiinds of different flavours 🙂

    I did make a chive flower white wine vinegar, light balsamic could have been good for that, but the dark way too overpowering.

  • Janet Niemi Burkholder Aug 24, 2016, 8:28 am

    I am learning and inspired by your berry infused vinegar. Thank you very much.

  • Candi Sep 12, 2016, 6:08 am

    Doesn’t look too hard – thanks for the info.

    I love using flavored vinegars, would be much happier (and healthier) to use my own.

    Can I use Raw Apple Cider Vinegar for this?

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018, 7:01 pm

    Super easy to make!

  • M Apr 23, 2019, 8:15 am

    These vinegars look so delicious. It’s strawberry season where I live now, and strawberry lemon vinegar would be delightful. It’s my mom’s birthday soon, and she would love this. My husband and I love vinegars and have a whole cabinet full. White balsamic is amazing and lighter tasting than the dark, which is absolutely mouthwatering but can be overpowering. I also love raspberry vinegar and can’t wait to try cherry and peach.

    I really like those swing top bottles and actually found a couple at Target. I use them for a lemonade syrup that I found on Pinterest. You can get a box of these bottles in different colors on Amazon and use them for vinegars, homemade extracts, chocolate syrup (I just made some with Valhrona cocoa).

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 25, 2019, 7:28 am

      I’d like to be in your kitchen right now!

  • Gale Murillo Jun 17, 2019, 8:10 am

    I tried a couple kinds of herb vinegars, one with garlic and herbs and one with just dill. The garlic-herb vinegar has turned cloudy whereas the dill vinegar remains clear. Do you think the garlic-herb has gone bad, or could it just be the garlic breaking down. I started it just over a week ago, so I haven’t opened it up yet. Your thoughts?

    • Kris Bordessa Jun 22, 2019, 10:07 am

      My guess is that the garlic is causing it to become cloudy, but that may not mean it’s gone bad.

      • Gale Jun 22, 2019, 10:47 am

        I’m not sure how I will know if it’s gone bad. Would I know by tasting it? It shouldn’t make me sick, right? It just wouldn’t tast good?

        • Kris Bordessa Jun 23, 2019, 8:32 am

          Vinegar is a pretty strong preservative. If it were me, I’d take a small taste. And then a bit larger taste. You’ll notice an off taste if it’s bad. I can’t imagine that it would make you sick, but if you’re worried, best to discard and try again.

          • Gale Jul 1, 2019, 9:04 am

            I did taste it and it didn’t make me sick. In fact it was pretty good. The cloudiness disappeared when I strained it through a coffee filter so I think it was just the garlic breaking down. My next attempts will be the berry and a cranberry orange.

  • Wendy Peden Jun 28, 2019, 5:49 am

    I’m wanting to make Jalapeno flavored like I find at the specialty stores. Suggestions? How much jalapeno do I start with? I don’t mind spicey!!!!

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 3, 2019, 7:57 am

      This is so variable! I think I’d start with small batches, experimenting with the number of peppers. Start with 2-3 jalapenos for a half-pint; if it’s not spicy enough, add more next time!

  • Michael Mar 8, 2020, 1:04 pm

    Sounds great, Kris; Thank you! We are trying to replace a raspberry flavored Red Wine vinegar. What is the comparison with using red wine vs white balsamic vinegar for this recipe? Also, have you ever heard of adding pure fruit juices @ 20% ratio to flavor vinegar?

    • Kris Bordessa Mar 10, 2020, 5:38 pm

      You can certainly use red wine vinegar instead, though the flavor will differ, of course. Sounds like you know what you’re after, though. I’d be interested to try the fruit juice idea — it sounds like it should work!

  • Valerie B Jun 20, 2020, 1:45 pm

    I love honey-ginger white basalmic from a local specialty store, but it’s so expensive that I’d like to try my own. I have fresh ginger, white Modena balsamic, and honey but am uncertain of the proportions to use. Can you help?

    • Kris Bordessa Jun 21, 2020, 3:26 pm

      Not having tried it, I can’t give a definitive answer, but my gut feeling is that you’d use much less ginger, since it’s pretty strong. Sorry not to be of more help!

  • Anne Marie Chrisoulis Jul 6, 2020, 11:23 pm

    When heating bottle in oven at 150 do you place bottle in jar of water or do you place jar directly on rack to pasteurized?

    • Kris Bordessa Jul 15, 2020, 2:42 pm

      Really, either way works.

  • Robin Jul 21, 2020, 4:25 am

    When making infused vinegar, do I need to use high-end white balsamic or is something like Colavita okay?

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 6, 2020, 3:35 pm

      You can probably get by with a lower end balsamic.

Leave a Comment