Chive infused vinegar has become one of my favourite vinegars for making salad dressings. It’s a gorgeous colour and has great flavour.
This vinegar is made using the purple blossoms of chives. After soaking in the vinegar, they release their colour and flavour so you get a pretty violet colour and a hint of onion flavour. It is not an intense onion flavour, it is more like mild onion seed flavour. Trust me, I’m not a big fan of raw onions, but I really enjoy this vinegar. It’s perfect for an Italian or Greek style salad dressing.
Recipe for Chive Infused Vinegar
Chive Blossom Infused Vinegar
- 1 cup chive blossom heads
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- Wash chive blossoms in several rinses of cold water to remove any debris or tiny insects. Strain and pat dry to remove as much water as possible.
- Stuff jar full of blossoms.
- Heat vinegar in pot until just before boiling (boiling will ruin blossoms). Pour over chive blossoms. Stir blossoms to remove any trappped air and top with more vinegar.
- Once cool, cap tightly, shake and leave in a cool, dark place for 1 week.
- Sample vinegar for flavour. For more intense flavour, allow it to infuse for another 3-5 days. If satisfied, prepare to strain.
- Strain out the blossoms and compost spent flowers. Pour the finished, flavoured vinegar into a clean, decorative bottle or jar with a plastic lid. Metalic lids will corrode from the vinegar.
- Label and decorate as desired.
Tips for Homemade Infused Vinegar
- White wine or rice wine are good options for chive infused vinegar. They will absorb the colour beautifully and they’re not as harsh as regular white vinegar.
- Cleanliness and food safety do matter. The acidity in vinegar makes homemade infused vinegar a safe preserve to give as gifts – provided basic cleanliness and food handling steps are followed. If there is any sign of bubbling, mold, slime, cloudiness or discoloring – the vinegar should not be used. To be safe follow the guidelines from the National Centre of Food Preservation.
- Avoid adding water to the infusion, make sure the blossoms or any other addition is as dry as possible.
- Use only glass containers that can be sealed well for both the infusion process and for storing your final vinegar. Seal with a plastic or rubber coated lid – metal lids will corrode. Alternatively, place a piece of parchment paper between the glass and the lid to prevent direct contact with metal.
- Keep your infusions in a dark, cool space.
- Storing in a refrigerator will hold color and flavor a little better, but it is not necessary. You can store your finished infused vinegar in a cupboard.
- Use infused vinegar within 4-6 months as colour will fade over time.
- Do not make homemade infused oil to go with your homemade infused vinegar. Oil infusions can support the growth of C. botulinum bacteria which can lead to potentially fatal, botulism. At home, infused oils should only be made fresh for immediate use. They can be refrigerated safely for up to three days.
- Do not use aluminum pots or utensils to prepare vinegar as they might create off flavours.
How to Use Infused Vinegar
You may be wondering what exactly you’re suppose to do with infused vinegars once you have them. Try them in:
- homemade vinaigrette or salad dressings
- sauces and condiments (sweet & sour sauce, bbq sauce, mustard, etc.)
- oil and vinegar dips for bread
You can infuse vinegar with just about any combination of herbs, fruits, veggies and spices that you can think of. Consider combinations like basil & oregano, garlic and rosemary, lemon and dill, apple and cinnamon (sticks not powder), lemon and blueberry, raspberry and mint, and so on. Just follow the basic process, ratios and hints provided in this post. You’ll find four other recipes in this article on Infused Vinegars – Gifts from the Kitchen including:
- Cranberry Orange Vinegar
- Spicy Hot Pepper Vinegar
- Lemon & Tarragon Vinegar
- Garlic & Herb Infused Vinegar
Have you tried making infused vinegar? Let me know in the comments below or touch base if you have any questions. If you make it, share a photo on Instagram and tag @getgettys so I can see it and like it!
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.