• 2 whole, peeled garlic cloves
• 4 whole, dried bay leaves
• 3 tablespoons dried rosemary
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
• 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
• 4 cups red wine vinegar
1. Place all ingredients except vinegar in a large, clean glass jar. Heat vinegar in a noncorrosive pan (enamel, stainless steel or glass) until almost boiling. Pour heated vinegar into the jar and stir mixture with a wooden spoon. Cover with a tight lid or plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. Place jar on the counter for 3 or more weeks, shaking occasionally to mix ingredients.
2. When mixture has reached desired flavor intensity, strain through several layers of cheesecloth to remove any large bits. Strain the mixture again through coffee filters to achieve a crystal clear vinegar. Pour finished vinegar into clean, glass bottles and cork tightly. Label and use within 6 months for best flavor.
3. Use in meat marinades, salad dressings and sauces.
Theresa Loe is always creating new herbal recipes and crafts for her annual calendar, The Herbal Calendar (Tide-Mark Press). It is illustrated by Peggy Turchette, who also illustrated this column.
Click here for the main article, Herbs in the Pantry: Homemade Flavored Vinegars .