Spicy Vinegar

A dash of homemade spicy vinegar is a great addition to any dish.

Spicy Vinegar
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
15 mins
Stand Time:
7 days
Total Time:
7 days 15 mins
1 pint

Southerners know that the pantry is not complete without a section dedicated to jars full of miscellaneous fruits and vegetables in various stages of preservation. We've got our canned peaches, our pickled okra, and of course, our homemade hot sauces. Our favorite new addition to the lineup? Spicy Vinegar.

Just a dash of this Spicy Vinegar is enough to completely revolutionize the flavor of any bland sautéed veggies or greens. Culinary historian Jessica B. Harris uses this Spicy Vinegar to top her Mixed Greens. She writes: "I'm happiest when they are jazzed up with chopped onion and a dash or two of spicy seasoned vinegar, which I prefer to hot sauce."

This infused vinegar is remarkably easy to make—all it requires is a little patience. Simply pour the vinegar over thin strips of carrot, ginger, thyme, garlic, and a seeded fresh habanero pepper. We like to use warming apple cider vinegar in this recipe, but you can feel free to play around with various vinegar varieties. This vinegar is tangy with a nice level of heat from the habanero—for more heat, leave the seeds in.


  • 1 small carrot

  • 1 small (½-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 3 garlic cloves 

  • 1 small piece seeded fresh habanero chile or other chile, to taste

  • 1 pint apple cider vinegar 


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel carrot into thin strips. Place in a sterilized pint-size bottle with a tight lid. Add ginger, thyme, garlic, and chile to bottle. Pour in vinegar; seal bottle. Let stand at room temperature for 1 week.

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