Many cooks love to use flavored vinegar and oils in a variety of recipes. Skip the high-dollar gourmet shops and make your own flavored vinegars or oil right at home. It’s easy and inexpensive!
Before gathering the ingredients for your flavored oil mixture you should find suitable jars or bottles. You will need a larger glass container for mixing and steeping. In addition, you will need decorative glass jars or bottles for storing, serving, and gift giving. Be sure you have corks or stoppers the appropriate sizes for all of your glass containers.
Preparing the Bottles
You will first need to sterilize your containers. You should wait to sterilize your decorative jars until you are ready to use them. Wash all bottles, jars, corks and stoppers you will be using now. Wash them in warm soapy water and clean the insides with a bottlebrush. Be sure to rinse everything thoroughly. You do not want any soapy reside left. Now you will need to sterilize the jars with boiling water. If the containers are small enough to be submerged in a pot it can be done right on the stovetop. All containers will need to be completely submerged, allowing them to fill completely with the water. Boil the water for 10 minutes. Use a clean, dry towel to drain the bottles on. If the glass containers cannot be fully submersed in the boiling water you will have to pour boiling water in them instead. Fill them completely and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Drain on a towel when finished.
Oil and Vinegar Recipes
Flavored Rosemary Oil
You will need several sprigs of rosemary and some olive oil for this recipe.
First you will prepare the rosemary. To release the flavor, gently roll a rolling pin or the backside of a spoon over the rosemary sprigs. You want to bruise the rosemary, not crush it.
Next, heat your olive oil. Do not boil it. Simply heat it in a saucepan over low heat or flame. Add the bruised rosemary to the oil. Allow it sit in the oil for a few minutes. Then remove the rosemary for the pan and put it in the jar. Pour the flavored oil into the jar next. Seal the container well. Refrigerate the jar of flavored oil for 3 to 4 days. This allows it time to steep. Once bottled, the flavored oil should last for about one month. After steeping you can prepare your decorative jars by sterilizing them. Directions for bottling can be found after the recipes.
Flavored Red Wine Vinegar
You will need red wine vinegar, a medium shallot, and two tablespoons of peppercorns. Use a mixture of whole red, black and white peppercorns.
Slice the shallot into very thin slices. Put the sliced shallot and the peppercorns in the container you will be steeping your flavored vinegar in.
Now heat the vinegar and pour it into the jar over the other ingredients. Tightly seal and store the vinegar in a cool, dark place. It will need to sit for 2 to 4 weeks before ready to be bottled. Once it is bottled, the flavored vinegar can be refrigerated for up to six months.
Flavored White Wine Vinegar
You will need white wine vinegar, 7 or 8 small coves of garlic, a sprig of oregano, and 2 teaspoons of black peppercorns.
In the bottle you will be using to steep in, place the garlic, oregano and peppercorns. Then you will need to heat the vinegar. Pour it over the ingredients in the container. Seal the container well and store it in a cool, dry place. Your flavored vinegar should be left to sit for 2 to 4 weeks. After bottling in decorative containers, your flavored vinegar can be refrigerated for up to six months.
Ready For Bottling!
Once your flavored oil or vinegar has had adequate time to let the flavors infuse you’ll be ready to put your vinegar or oil into their smaller decorative bottles.
Sterilize the bottles as you did the previous ones. When the bottles are drained and dry strain the oil or vinegar into the decorative containers. You should then add fresh herbs or spices to the bottles. Use a small amount of each of the herbs or spices used to flavor the oil or vinegar. Adding the fresh herbs is a lovely decorative touch for your finished product. Seal your containers with a cork or stopper.
You can use raffia, twine, ribbon, or fabric to decorate the cork. Any of these items can be used to wrap around the cork and mouth of the bottle or jar.
The last step is labeling. Each label should have the date bottled as well as the ingredients used. If giving this as a gift, be sure to include the following information. This homemade product does not contain preservatives. Check your flavored oil or vinegar regularly for discoloration or an odd smell. If either condition exists the product should be discarded. Always refrigerate after opening. Shelf life of flavored oil is up to one month. Shelf life of flavored vinegar is up to six months.