Flavored Vinegar has been around for eons. There are a few different ways to make it. It can be distilled, it can be infused and it can be as simple as inserting a variety of herbs into vinegar, kept in a dark cupboard until the flavors blend.
Flavored Vinegar can be used the same way you use any vinegar, however it's especially good for salad dressings and sauce mixtures.
One of the most talked about vinegar solutions is the Four Thieves vinegar. Four Thieves formula was believed to be the remedy against the plague in Medieval times. The main reason according to science that it protected those that used it is that the herbs used repelled the *rat fleas* responsible for the Bubonic Plague. Believe it or not there are isolated cases of the Bubonic Plague even today. Mainly in communities of immigrants or migrants, that may be living in rat infested environments. The basic four herbs believed to be used in Four Thieves are Sage, Rosemary, Lavender and Thyme, with the addition of garlic cloves; however there is no confirmed recipe for the original formula, and many of the recipes that are created use as many as 7 to 11 different herbs. The Museum of Paris lodges what is considered to be the original recipe that was posted on the walls in Marseilles so that those affected could make their own recipe. The reason for so many possible recipes is that people used what herbs they may have had access to, rather than stick to a specific formula. The vinegar used was Red Wine, White Wine, Apple Cider, or Distilled White. So even the vinegar varied by what was available to aristocrats as well as the less fortunate. Regardless of this most famous concoction, vinegar has been used for centuries and included in some of the earliest know writings. We presume that the formula was used externally, and dipped on a kerchief that was held to the nose, much as we would use a face mask to prevent inhaling pathogens through the mucus membranes.
Vinegar has been used as a dietary supplement, used to flavor foods, used to make salad dressings, as a household cleaner and anti-bacterial throughout history.
For a simple Vinegar
1 Pint Apple Cider Vinegar
Wash and lightly dry several sprigs of each fresh herb. Pour vinegar into clean sterilized mason jars or bottles. Place the sprigs into the vinegar, making sure they are completely immersed in the vinegar. Cap and store in a cool, dark cupboard a month or more before using or bottle it to give as gifts with instructions for use.
HOT AND SPICY VINEGAR
2 T. Pepper corns (White, Pink, Black)
2 Small dry hot peppers
1 Pint Vinegar
Place dried spices in a piece of cheese cloth. Tie the ends together. Insert in the vinegar, cap and store in a dark, cool cabinet up to a month before use.
SWEET AND SPICY VINEGAR
Sugar (or preferred sweetener)
Ginger (fresh grated or dried)
Place whole dried spices in a piece of cheese cloth. Tie the ends together. Insert in the vinegar, cap and store in a dark, cool cabinet up to a month before use.
NOTE: Either use plastic lids, or plastic wrap between the lid and the vinegar solution to prevent a reaction between the metal and the vinegar.
To make your own vinegar follow the link:
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