While I’m on a roll with creating Christmas gifts for my family and friends, I’ll talk about the herbal vinegars I’ve recently prepared. I actually got this idea from my mom, when I received a similar gift from her a couple years ago.
I have had several lovely dark glass bottles left over from the imported olive oil we buy from a beautiful agriturismo we stayed at in Tuscany, Italy. I didn’t want to waste these attractive bottles, so decided to recycle them to store herbal vinegar to give as gifts.
If you grow your own herbs, that is a plus, but “fresh” herbs from the supermarket will work also, as long as they are still on the stem. If something else was previously in your glass bottles, make sure you soak and air dry the bottles thoroughly. Insert several herb twigs in each bottle. I used basil, dill, and thyme, but other herbs such as rosemary and chives would be great also. Various types of vinegar can be used. I used apple cider vinegar, because my neighborhood grocery store sold large containers of this. Other vinegars, such as red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, and even plain old white vinegar could work. It is up to you to create your own unique combination of vinegar and herbs.
The vinegars should be stored for a few weeks before giving them out, to allow for the herb flavor to be infused in the vinegar. You may also create handwritten or computer designed tags with a brief description to tie around each bottle, so your recipients know what is in them. Also, it is a nice finishing touch to buy pourers for each bottle, so that your friends can elegantly drizzle some vinegar on their salads or other culinary creations. A simple yet tasteful gift!