Whispering Wood Herbal Grimoire

Herbal Vinegars:

Basil - Garlic, Blueberry - Orange Mint, Cranberry, Five herb, JT'S Southwest vinegar, Lemon - Dill, Lemon Mint, Lemon Thyme and Rosemary, Middle Eastern, Mint, Raspberry, Rosemary Grape, Sour Cherry wine vinegar, Tarragon, and suggested herbal mixtures

Basil Garlic Vinegar

Heat 2 c. white vinegar. Place 1/2 c. fresh basil and 3 cloves halved garlic in sterilized jar. Add hot vinegar. Seal. Let stand 2 weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain through coffee filters and rebottle in same jar. Keep in cool dark place up to 6 months.

Blueberry Orange Mint Vinegar

1 cup fresh blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 large sprig orange mint, continuous spiral of zest from one small orange. white wine vinegar.

Excellent with chicken and fruit salads.

Fill glass bottles with your fresh herbs. Fill with vinegar of your choice and seal. You can use a wax seal. Let sit in a dark, cool place for 3 to 4 weeks.

Cranberry Vinegar

1 cup cranberries

2 cup champagne vinegar

Place berries in clean qt. jar. Bring vinegar to boil over mod. heat. Pour over. Cool. Cover. Place in sunny spot for 5 weeks. Strain. If too tart, add 1-2 tsp. sugar.

Five Herb Vinegar

1 cup chopped fresh rosemary

1 cup chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup chopped chive blossoms

1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano

1 sprig fresh parsley, chopped

4 shallots, thinly sliced

12 peppercorns

3 3/4 cups white wine vinegar                                                                                                                                            additional sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano

Place the first seven ingredients in a large wide mouth jar. Place the vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the vinegar over the herbs and cover the jar. Let stand at room temperature for 2 weeks. Strain the flavored vinegar into a decorative bottle, discard the used herbs. Add the additional fresh sprigs of herbs to the bottle and seal.

JT'S Southwest Vinegar

8 cups dry Basil leaves and blooms                                                                                                                                     
2 heads of peeled garlic cloves                                                                                                                                          
10 dried red peppers                                                                                                                                                              
1 gal Red wine vinegar

Put all the ingredients called for, except vinegar, in a one-gallon glass jar. Heat the vinegar in a non-aluminum pot- but do not boil - and pour about half over the herb mixture. Crush and bruise the herbs with a wooden spoon to release their flavor into the vinegar. Top off the jar with the remaining vinegar. Cover the glass jar with a non-metallic lid and store in a cool, dry place for two weeks. Strain the vinegar and pour into display bottles. Add sprigs of fresh herbs to each bottle for visual interest if desired.

Lemon-Dill Vinegar

8 sprigs of fresh dill, continuous spiral of 1 large lemon, white wine vinegar.

Add a dash to fish sauces, use in vinaigrette for past salad or cold sliced beets.

Lemon Mint Vinegar

Remove 1x3" strip peel with vegetable peeler from 1 lemon making sure no pith is attached. Pour 1 7/8 c. rice wine vinegar into hot sterilized pint jar. Add rind and 5 spearmint or peppermint leaves. Place in sunny window for 1-2 days. Taste. Remove peel and leaves. Seal. Store in cool dark place.

Lemon Thyme and Rosemary Vinegar

1 large sprig about 6 inches, each fresh rosemary and lemon thyme, 5 whole peppercorns, white wine vinegar.

Special affinity for cold vegetables and meats. Sprinkle over chicken.

Middle Eastern Vinegar

Use white wine vinegar with some dried lemon peel, few sprigs fresh oregano and mint (or dried) and a cinnamon stick. Refrigerate.

Mint Vinegar:

Fresh mint leaves, young


Slightly chop or bruise the mint. Pack in bottles, filing nearly to the neck, pour in vinegar to cover the mint. In 50 days strain off and bottle for use.

Parsnip wine Vinegar

4 lb. chopped unpeeled parsnips to each gallon of water

Boil, but do not let the parsnips turn into a mash or the wine will be cloudy. Strain carefully, but do not squeeze. To each gallon, add 3 lbs. white sugar. Boil for ½ hour. Add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange and when cool add the yeast on toast - ½ oz. yeast to the gallon. Allow to stand in a warm place, and when fermentation starts.

Pour the sweetened yeasted liquid into a clean cask, jar or bottle (depending on the quantity) until it is filled to the top. Keep any surplus in a bottle for topping up the water receptacle during fermentation. Stand the cask (or jar or bottle) on a tray in a warm room. Fermentation soon begins and froth will pour out over the side of the container. Fill up again from the surplus bottle until a froth no longer forms. Insert a cork into the container, loosely at first, but when the fermentation is over and no bubbles of gas are seen, then cork tightly. If you want a really clear wine it should be racked from time to time, i.e. pour the clear wine from the old bottles, into clean ones, keeping the yeast deposit to re-clear in the old bottles.

The wine should be kept for six months without sampling.

Raspberry Vinegar:

8 qts. raspberries, divided

4 qts. mild vinegar


Crush berries and cover with vinegar. After 2 days strain through doubled cheesecloth and pour the same vinegar over a further 4 qts of berries. Let stand again for 2 days. Strain, measure. Add 2 pounds sugar for each quart of liquid, bringing slowly to boiling point. Boil 10 minutes then skim, turn into sterilized jars and seal. [ Use 2-3 T in a glass of ice water for a pleasant summer drink]

Rosemary Grape vinegar

6 fresh white seedless grapes, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, white wine vinegar.

Use for chicken or rabbit marinades, seafood salads. Splash into sauteed chicken livers.

Sour Cherry Wine Vinegar

Place 14-15 ripe fresh or canned sour cherries in a hot sterilized jar. Heat 1 3/4 c. white wine vinegar to boil. Pour over. Seal. Let sit in sunny window a few days until has slight sour cherry flavor. Reseal. Store in refrigerator. Especially good in chicken salad.

Tarragon Vinegar

4 large sprigs tarragon

2 cups white wine or champagne vinegar

Place washed herb sprigs in a clean bottle or jar and pour vinegar over then. Close jar and store in a cool, dark place for several weeks. Strain vinegar into sterile bottle's, adding additional tarragon sprigs for decoration.

Herbal vinegar combinations:

Basil, thyme, fennel, oregano, marjoram, sage or garlic 

Nasturtiums, garlic clove and chives-turns a wonderful color!

Lemon balm, nasturtium and dill

Peppercorns, basil and nasturtiums blooms cilantro, chives, a dried pepper, garlic-spicy!

Thyme or basil by themselves

Equal amounts of sage, thyme and basil, plus one sprig rosemary                                                                       

Mexican Mint Marigold (Texas Tarragon) and Peppercorns                                                                                             

Hot Peppers by themselves or with Pearl Onions                   

Cinnamon sticks, Whole Cloves, Nutmeg and Allspice           

Cinnamon Basil and Whole Cloves                                       

Dill Flowers and Peppercorns                                               

Mint (any kind) by itself (Mix with honey and use on fruit)

Cilantro, Garlic, Whole Cloves and Hot Peppers

Fresh Peaches, Pineapple Sage, Bay, Cinnamon Sticks and Whole Cloves

Salad Burnet by itself for a delicate cucumber flavor (Sprinkle on broiled fish)

Sage, Cinnamon Sticks, Whole Cloves, Whole Allspice, Peppercorns (Marinate pork)

Basil, Garlic and Peppercorns

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