Balsamic Vinegar Reduction or Glaze

The Olive Scene Balsamic Vinegar is richer than most vinegars, but sometimes your recipe needs an extra-thick, glossy balsamic vinegar reduction or glaze to take it over the top. It’s quick and easy to make, but can be intimidating because it sounds fancy (which also means it will impress your dinner guests...). Don’t let it intimidate you any longer!

A reduction occurs when you add heat to remove some of the water content of the vinegar, making it thicker and more concentrated. You can do this on a burner (instructions below), or let it happen naturally in the oven to glaze meats and vegetables (we love it with pork, beef, and chicken). Simply add balsamic vinegar to an uncovered roasting pan about 20 minutes before your recipe is done. The heat from the oven will turn it into a thick glaze that forms a sauce for your entrée. Try this method with pork tenderloin or chops, beef brisket or pot roast, roasted chicken, and roasted squash. If you’re using a braising liquid, add balsamic vinegar to the liquid and uncover the pan during the last 30-60 minutes of braising to thicken the sauce, like in our Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar Glazed Ham recipe.

A balsamic vinegar reduction floats on thicker liquids, which means it is the perfect addition to your squash or pumpkin soup for the holiday season. It adds a dramatic splash of color to a plate when drizzled around the edges. It’s also beautiful to drizzle on top of roasted meats and vegetables, or even baked goods!

Any of our flavored balsamic vinegars make excellent reductions, but you can experiment with different additions based on your recipe. Try adding brown sugar, honey, or jam to make it sweeter (we especially love a scoop of fig jam in our balsamic vinegar reductions!). Reduce vinegar with whole sprigs of herbs like rosemary or thyme, or use whole crushed garlic cloves for a savory version.

A stovetop balsamic vinegar reduction is easy, but make sure you keep a close eye on the pan! When cooked too long or at too high of a temperature, it can go from perfect to burned very quickly. And keep in mind that it thickens as it cools.

Store the glaze in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or refrigerated for up to 4 weeks.

Instructions

  1. Heat ½ cup of your favorite Balsamic Vinegar from The Olive Scene in a small saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer.

  3. Cook until balsamic vinegar is reduced in half, about 3-5 minutes for white balsamic vinegars and about 10-15 minutes for dark balsamic vinegars. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn!