The clumps of chives in the herb garden will flower soon, and I will be using them to make chive blossom vinegar. This gorgeous pale pink herbal vinegar is so easy to make, and gives salad a subtle hint of onion flavour.
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Chive Blossom Vinegar
What you need to make this vinegar:
- a glass jar – large enough so it is half filled with chive blossoms
- white distilled vinegar
- clear glass bottles with snug-fitting corks
- a plastic funnel
- chive blossoms
Chives are easy to grow
They are a perennial, which means they will come up every year. Once planted, there isn’t much you have to do! The plants flower in late spring, and that is when you can snip the blossoms to make chive blossom vinegar. Throughout the summer, use chives to add to recipes. Before the first frost, cut the plants down to the ground, and freeze the chives to use during the winter.
Prep for making the vinegar
Wash off the plants with the garden hose the night before making the vinegar. The large glass jar for steeping the blossoms is best to run through the dishwasher to sanitize it, as well as the glass bottles for the finished product.
Pick the blossoms before noon, as the sun seems to drain some of the flavour of the blossoms. Be sure to shake off any water, and pat the flowers dry. Also make sure that the glass jar for steeping is thoroughly dry, since any drops of water will produce cloudy vinegar.
Put all of the blossoms into the jar, and cover them with white distilled vinegar. If the lid to the steeping jar is metal, use a double layer of waxed paper over the opening of the jar first before screwing on the lid. You don’t want metal to come in contact with the vinegar. For this batch, I used a glass mason jar with a rubber ring and a glass top.
Set the jar in the sun for two weeks, and gently shake the jar once a day. When I make large batches of herbal vinegar, I set them out on in the sun on my potting bench.
Look at that gorgeous colour!
At the end of two weeks of steeping, the vinegar is ready to strain.
Again, be sure that the bottle is completely dry, and use a plastic funnel. Place a double thickness of cheesecloth over the funnel, and slowly pour the blossom mixture into the funnel. For this batch, I used a vintage Schenley whiskey decanter that belonged to my dad. I love how the raised designs of the bottle show up against the pale pink vinegar.
Done and ready to use!
♦ make sure that the blossoms, containers and tools are thoroughly dry
♦ use only glass, plastic and wooden tools
♦ don’t allow metal to come in contact with the vinegar. If using a metal screw top on the jar, put a double layer of wax paper over the top of the jar first, then screw on the top
♦ keep the finished vinegar out of direct sunlight once bottled
♦ stock up on gallons of distilled white vinegar when it goes on sale at the grocery store
♦ throughout the summer, I will make different types of herbal vinegars and bottle some in small, decorative bottles. A set of different herbal vinegars makes a great gift!
Clear glass bottles with corks that actually fit can be difficult to find, so here are some suggestions: