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Balsamic vinegar reduction

Balsamic vinegar reduction

A balsamic vinegar reduction is a concentrated and thickened version of balsamic vinegar that is made by cooking down the vinegar until it has reduced. The balsamic flavor will become more intense and the consistency will thicken. A balsamic reduction is great for salads where you want to add a burst of flavor. It goes great with vegetables and also with meats. If you like using olive oil and vinegar for dipping with bread, using a balsamic reduction will make it even more delicious.

Balsamic vinegar reduction recipe

Also, if you can’t always find good quality balsamic vinegar or the good stuff is too pricey, then you can improve the taste of not so great balsamic vinegar by reducing it. Though keep in mind, you will likely be cutting the actual amount of vinegar by half or more, so if the good stuff is only a few $$ more, then it might not be worth it. However, you will need less of the concentrated balsamic reduction than of the regular balsamic.

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Balsamic reduction

Balsamic vinegar reduction

Recipe for homemade balsamic vinegar reduction, a concentrated and thickened version of balsamic vinegar that is perfect for drizzling on salads and vegetables, or to use as a glaze for meats.
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Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: American, European, International, Italian
Keyword: Balsamic reduction, Vinegar
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 cup to 1/2 cup depending on the consistency that you prefer


  • 2 cups of balsamic vinegar

Optional ingredients for a flavored balsamic reduction:

  • 1 lightly crushed whole garlic clove
  • A few sprigs of herbs thyme, oregano, basil, etc


  • Place the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat until the vinegar has reduced to at least half of the original amount (about 30 minutes for 2 cups of vinegar to reduce to 1 cup). For a concentrated but still liquid balsamic sauce you can cook it until it reduces by half. For a thicker glaze type sauce cook it until it’s reduced to ½ cup (1/4 of the original volume).
  • As soon as the balsamic reduction reaches the consistency and concentration level that you prefer, remove it from the heat, and let it cool down. If you added crushed garlic or herbs you can remove them with a slotted spoon or strain the reduction. Place in container or bottle and use as needed.

Balsamic reduction
Making your own homemade balsamic vinegar reduction also allows you to infuse additional flavors into the vinegar, I usually add a lightly crushed whole garlic clove to the sauce as it reduces and then remove it when the sauce is done – it gives the sauce an additional hint of garlic flavor. You can also add sprigs of herbs to infuse their flavor into the vinegar.

The longer you cook the balsamic vinegar, the thicker and more concentrated it will become. You should at least cook it until it reduces by half, it will still be liquid, but will start to coat the pan and a spoon. For a thicker sauce, that has a glaze or liquid honey consistency, you will need to cook it until it reduces to a quarter of the original amount of balsamic vinegar. As you are making you can taste it, and test the flavor and consistency that you prefer.

How to make a balsamic vinegar reduction Homemade balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze

Step by step preparation photos for balsamic vinegar reduction

Place the balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan Cook the balmasic vinegar until it has reduced by at least half

Remove the garlic or herbs from the vinegar How to make balsamic vinegar reduction

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    1. If you made a straight reduction of the balsamic vinegar, with no added ingredients (garlic, etc), it will keep for 1-2 months. If you added additional ingredients then it’s probably best to use within 1-2 weeks.

    1. Add additional vinegar and re-heat it over low, then mix it well and it should fix the consistency. The exact same thing happened to me about a week ago.

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