Whilst different herb flavoured vinegars in fancy bottles are available commercially, concocting them for gifting adds a personal touch that rivals any store-bought gift. What's more, making your own is uncomplicated and all the ingredients are easily available.
Collect decorative bottles in different shapes and sizes. You can find some rather usually-shaped bottles at flea markets and village stalls. Used wine bottles make fabulous herb vinegar containers.
Fill your bottles with different combinations of herbs and vinegars and watch the kitchen come alive with color and flavor.
Here are a few ideas that you can use for making and gifting herbal vinegars:-
White Wine vinegars, Red Wine Vinegars and Rice Vinegars have a smooth taste are good choices as a base. Though White Wine Vinegar has a sharper taste, it does go well with some herbs and is a good choice. Apple Cider Vinegar has an overpowering taste and should be used prudently so it does not overshadow the flavor of the herbs.
Garlic: Peel, rinse and dry garlic before using. Garlic cloves look charming when strung onto a bamboo skewer in different arrangements.
Peppers: After removing the top and seeds of peppers, wash, pat dry and cut into strips of preferred thickness.
Green Onions: Wash and pat dry green onions. Cut stems to bottle length prior to inserting into the bottle. Whether you leave the root or cut is off is a matter of personal preference; both look good.
Spices: Always use whole spices. Using powdered or ground spices will turn the vinegar cloudy. Some good spices to use include: allspice, all types of peppercorns, juniper berries, cumin seed, cloves, coriander seed and bay leaves.
A word of caution... avoid using any metal utensils or equipment when making herb vinegars either during cooking or storing, as metal reacts with vinegar.