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How Do I Make a Balsamic Reduction?

Posted Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

As everyone is playing around with their new olive oils and vinegars, we wanted to give you a tip on another way to jazz up your food using balsamic vinegar: the reduction. A balsamic reduction is a concentrated version of balsamic vinegar, cooked down to intensify the balsamic flavor and thicken the consistency. Many people use balsamic reductions as a glaze or a drizzle over meats and veggies.

The basic process for creating a balsamic reduction:

  1. Take any amount of balsamic vinegar – you can do just a cup or amount needed for a recipe, or a whole bottle and save for use – and placing it in a stock pot or large saucepan.
  2. Heat the balsamic vinegar on high until it starts to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook – stirring continually – until volume of vinegar has reduced 50-75 percent. (This depends on how thick you want your reduction and how concentrated you’d like the flavor.)
    1. You can add a small amount of sugar at this stage to slightly sweeten the reduction. Try approximately ½ teaspoon per 2 cups of balsamic vinegar, more or less to taste.
  4. Remove from heat and allow reduction to cool.

Like balsamic vinegar, you can store in a cool, dark place (not refrigerated) and it will be good for years. Be sure to store in an airtight container – and then the acetic content of the balsamic will keep it stable (no worry of bacteria growth or it going rancid in any way).

Many people have recipes for flavored balsamic reductions; however, with The Olive Bin’s flavored balsamics, you can easily make a flavored reduction – without even adding any additional ingredients! Try a Raspberry reduction (with our Raspberry balsamic vinegar) over oatmeal or pancakes; or a savory reduction (try our Jalapeno balsamic) to spread over vegetables for an added kick.

Keep in mind that, because balsamic reductions are more concentrated in taste, you’ll need less of a reduction than you would typically use of straight balsamic vinegar.