Make a Five Star Herb Vinegar

If you want deluxe vinegar for your vinaigrette, marinades, sauces or stews, here is a wonderful addition to your cooking arsenal that will use some of your first fresh herb crop this spring. Remember to clean all the herbs well, and try to harvest them in the morning before the temperatures start to heat up. Oh, and if the end product is a bit strong for your taste, you can mix it with plain vinegar in a half-and-half ratio. This type of robust flavored vinegar is often used to season dishes, and not as a main ingredient, so it's concentrated.

Five Star Vinegar Recipe

½ cup fresh basil leaves rolled and cut in strips
2 broken bay leaves (dried)
½ teaspoon of whole dried allspice berries
1 teaspoon peppercorns (a mix of red, white, and black is nice)
1/2 cup fresh marjoram (you can use oregano)
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
7 whole cloves
2 large sage leaves
¼ cup chives cut in one-inch pieces
5 cups of red wine vinegar

Combine the herbs and spices above and add vinegar. Pour mixture into a clean, non-reactive container like glass or ceramic, seal, and place in a cool dark spot for six to eight weeks. Decant and strain into a decorative bottle, including a fresh sprig of marjoram and a few peppercorns for identification. (You can speed up the process to two weeks curing time if you use boiling vinegar. I prefer the first method because the resulting vinegar seems to have a fresher, cleaner taste.)

I particularly enjoy using this recipe to flavor lamb and also in my husband's country style rib recipe. It takes a while to cure, but it's worth the wait.


  1. Sounds like a very nice vinegar. A good herb vinegar is well worth the wait and other than the time required they are so dead easy. I intend to give this one a try.

  2. Hey Food Junkie,

    Thanks for writing, and please come back to tell us what you think.


  3. Just complying a shopping list of stuff I need to buy to try out this recipe. I adore herbal vinegars I usually add them to cooked mixed beans to make a delicious bean salad.


  4. Anonymous9:38:00 PM

    I grew some evening primrose for a couple of yrs, they only grow for two yrs. And it was a spiritual feeling watching the buds bloom right before your eyes as the sun set.


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