Herbed Vinegar

Why break the bank buying beautiful bottles of vinegar packed with herbs when you can make your own at a fraction of the price? The are fabulous to use in salad dressings or in any herby recipe where vinegar is used. We used empty fancy soda bottles. Use lightly tinted colored bottles, as the greenness of the herbs will fade. These make fabulous presents for any would be chefs on your gift-giving list.

2 cups distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup of water
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, oregano or thyme, cut just short enough to fit into the bottle
5-6 very thin lemon slices and / or peppercorns
16 ounce bottle with tightly securable lids or corks.

Boil the bottle in a water bath to sterilize. Remove bottle, shake out any excess water. Allow to dry thoroughly and cool to room temperature.

Combine vinegar and water in a saucepan. Place over high heat. As soon as the mixture starts boil, remove from heat. Allow to cool for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, roll two lemon slices and slip into the cooled bottles. Next, slip in a sprig of fresh rosemary or our herb of choice. Alternate until the bottle is full, but not jam-packed. (Alternating the lemon and rosemary in this fashion allows for even disbursement instead of a bunch of lemon slices smashed at the bottom of the bottle.) Use a chopstick if necessary to poke lemon slices down into the bottle

Using a funnel, fill the bottle with the vinegar mixture, Making sure all of the contents are covered. Be sure not to use very hot vinegar, as it will cause the herbs to brown! Add a fistful of peppercorns, if desired. Secure the lid or cork. Store at room temperature.

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