Thyme Vinegar

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.

The new shelves, of which i am quite proud.
The new shelves, of which i am quite proud.
On the other side of the window there is even a space for the Tortoro that Minos got me for Christmas last year.
On the other side of the window there is even a space for the Tortoro that Minos got me for Christmas last year.

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.

It was a little under an ounce of thyme.
It was a little under an ounce of thyme.

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.

stuffedAs you can see in the picture below, the thyme forms a mass at the bottom of the bottle.


Then i poured the cider vinegar into the bottle, flipped the top and squeezed it shut.

And  now … we wait!


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