Tarragon vinegar is called for in many recipes. Homemade Tarragon Vinegar always on hand, and I make my own using fresh tarragon from my garden.
I’m going to say that tarragon is on my list of top 3 favorite herbs. I use it in everything from various beef marinades to fish dishes. So, it should come as no surprise that tarragon vinegar is a vital ingredient to many dishes from salad dressings (such as Ina Garden’s blue cheese dressing), to my delicious Farmhouse 1820 Béarnaise Sauce.
When planning and planting my herb garden years ago, I knew that tarragon was a must. It’s a perennial herb that comes back year after year, and whether I’m clipping it for dish, or to include as filler in a floral arrangement, I seem to take cuttings almost daily.
In the beginning of this year, one of my goals was to make a few of my own homemade vinegars, and to try my hand at flavored oils as well. Though I haven’t followed through on the oils quite yet, I have created a couple homemade vinegars, including this tarragon one.
(Here’s my chive blossom vinegar recipe).
For the base, a good champagne or white wine vinegar was in order. This one is my top choice and go to. Next, I knew I needed to release the flavor of the tarragon somehow. In other recipes I read that boiling the herb in the vinegar was in order, but I felt that would tend to make the vinegar bitter. So, I decided to practice a tried and true method of bruising the tarragon to get the flavors started, by using the back (not the sharp side) of a chef’s knife. Once I added the bruised tarragon to the vinegar, all I needed to do was sit back and wait. You know the old saying, many things grow better with age. Three weeks later, I had myself the perfect recipe for homemade tarragon vinegar.
Carefully chosen bottles with a long-neck and cork closure were required for bottling and, honestly, they’re downright pretty and can be used for various other recipes, like juices and dressings.
Another side note, I only recommend making this vinegar with fresh tarragon, not dried. I tried it with dried, and it was a flop because a) it was difficult to measure specifically and b) it muddied up the vinegar, even with straining. Only use fresh in this recipe.
Here’s how to make homemade tarragon vinegar. It’s easy breezy.
Homemade Tarragon Vinegar
- 3 17-ounce bottles white wine or champagne vinegar
- 36 sprigs fresh tarragon divided
- Carefully rinse fresh tarragon under cool water. Pat dry with paper toweling.
- On a flat, clean surface, bruise the tarragon using the back of a knife to release the flavors.
- Place 30 sprigs of tarragon in a clean, large glass container. Pour in vinegar over top of tarragon.
- Cover the container with plastic wrap and seal with a rubber band.
- Store in cool dark place for 3 weeks, swirling the vinegar around every week or so to combine ingredients.
- Right before bottling, sterilize glass bottles. I put mine in the dishwasher set on sterilizing setting.
- Pour infused vinegar through a funnel lined with cheesecloth, filling each bottle an inch from the top.
- Discard solids and cheesecloth.
- Place one to two sprigs of fresh tarragon for garnish.
- Cover each bottle with tight-fitting lid and store on shelf.
- This vinegar has a shelf life of 7-8 months.
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