I love thyme. It has a delightful taste that i liken to lemony oregano. It goes well in so many things.
5 years ago i had a thyme plant living in a flower pot on the front porch of my condo. It grew like crazy, and i was swimming in thyme. Thyme goes bad rather quickly, and since i had more than i could use i decided to try to make a thyme vinegar to use in marinades and salad dressings.
So i stuffed a bunch of thyme into an old, sterilized beer bottle with a flip-top lid and rubber seal, then filled it the rest of the way with cider vinegar. I stuck a label to the bottle listing the date i made it — 17 August 2008 — and set it in the wine rack built into the cabinets of my condo.
And life went on. And i completely forgot about this vinegar.
Until last fall, when i decided that i needed more storage space in the kitchen, so i build some storage shelves on an empty spot of wall between the wine rack and the kitchen window.
When i was working on the shelves, i had to secure them to the wine rack, so i fully emptied the thing for the first time in years. And i found that bottle of vinegar, which had sat for four years and two months.
I wondered if it would be any good, so i popped the seal and tasted it. In a word, it was amazing. I had a bottle of vinegar with a delicious thyme flavor. Minos really liked it too, and we have tried to find uses for it. We need to get better at documenting those uses here, but i have put it in vinaigrettes and used it to finish off a pasta sauce. It is versatile and flavorful, adding a delightful burst of sour thyme flavor.
At The Atlanta Food Swap in August 2013 we ended up with a bag full of fresh thyme from someone’s garden. I think his name was Doug, but i am terrible with names.
We debated uses for it, and neither of had planned anything with thyme. So i suggested making a new bottle of the vinegar.
It’s really simple. The trick is just to let it sit. We will try to not let this batch sit for over 4 years. In fact, i hope to check it every few months and let you know how it develops.
a little under an ounce of fresh thyme
2 1/4 cups of cider vinegar
That’s it, that is all there is to this. The important thing is that bottle you see on the left above. It is a dark brown Grolsch bottle. I think it was to one of their darker winter beers, but it has been a long time… I cleaned the bottle by running it through the dishwasher.
At any rate, it is the flip-top with the rubber gasket seal that is so important here. The gasket seals the bottle airtight, allowing the contents to develop at their own pace.
I stuffed the thyme into the bottle. I had to use a chop stick to get it all in there, past the neck.
Then i poured the cider vinegar into the bottle, flipped the top and squeezed it shut.
And now … we wait!