How to Make Herbal Vinegar

The most important thing to remember when making an herbal vinegar is to use enough herbs. It's common to use too little, but this often leads to herbal vinegar without much flavor. Makes 2 cups of herbal vinegar.

Course Condiment
Author Stacy Karen


  • 2 cups vinegar see below for which types
  • 1 cup fresh herbs loosely packed (or 1/2 cup dried herbs)


  1. Clean herbs by preferred method.
  2. If herbs are organically grown, a general rinsing should suffice. If not organically grown, soak in water before rinsing. Place in a sterilized jar.
  3. Gently bruise the herbs by pressing with a spoon or smash a few times in a mortar and pestle before placing in the jar.
  4. Pour vinegar over the herbs and close jar tightly.
  5. It's best to use a non-metallic lid, or a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the jar before placing the lid on to keep the vinegar from coming into contact with the metal (it will react with the vinegar).
  6. Keep jar in a dark place (such as a closed cabineat room temperature for at least one week.
  7. Check to see if the flavor is the strength you desire.
  8. If not, steep another week or two.
  9. If after three weeks the flavor is not very strong, try adding more herbs and leave to steep again.
  10. Once the flavor is to your liking, strain out the herbs and pour the herbal vinegar into clean bottles.
  11. Cap tightly and add a label.

Recipe Notes

If you don't wish to taste the vinegar every week, leave it to steep for about three weeks and it will likely be just fine.


What Type of Vinegar Should You Use?


White wine vinegar. White wine vinegar goes well with many herbs and is perfect for herbs or flower petals that produce color. Dill, basil, tarragon, chervil, and lemon balm are well-suited to white wine vinegar.


Red wine vinegar. Red wine vinegar adds a rich flavor and pairs well with sage, thyme, parsley and bay leaves.


Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar pairs well with many herbs and makes an aesthetically pleasing vinegar. Herbal vinegars with apple cider are suitable for cosmetics; see below.


Champagne vinegar. If you want to be fancy, champagne vinegar will produce a beautifully delicate herbal vinegar.