Start some homemade garlic-herb infused vinegar for gift-giving in December.

This makes a fantastic oil-and-vinegar salad dressing. The recipe makes 2 pints. You’ll need 2 pint jars with lids, 1 cup (packed full) of fresh basil, rosemary, thyme, or tarragon, 8 cloves of garlic, and 4 cups of red wine vinegar.

Sterilize your jars and lids in the dishwasher or in boiling water. Rinse your herbs and dry with paper towels. Divide them between the 2 jars. Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a chef’s knife. Put 4 garlic cloves in each jar. Heat the vinegar to at least 190 degrees F, but don’t let it boil. Fill the prepared jars with red wine vinegar and put the lids on tightly.

Place the jars in a cool, dark place, not in a sunny windowsill as you may have been taught 20 years ago. Flip them over every few days. If it seems the vinegar is evaporating and the herbs are not covered, add more vinegar.

Let the vinegar steep for 1 month. Then, strain out the herbs and garlic.

You may want to pour the vinegar into a different (sterilized) glass vessel before gift-giving. When giving, add a note to the recipient instructing them to combine 1 part infused vinegar with 3 parts extra-virgin olive oil to make a salad dressing. The vinegar will be good for at least 3 months in cool rooms and 6 months if refrigerated.

This article from University of Georgia Extension Service has recipes for other flavors, as well as helpful tips.

(Image credit: gresey)

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