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Vinegar: Types, Uses and Recipe Ideas

Updated on March 28, 2015
Vinegar: Types, Uses and Recipe Ideas
Vinegar: Types, Uses and Recipe Ideas | Source
There are a variety of vinegars to choose from.
There are a variety of vinegars to choose from. | Source

Why vinegar?

A splash of vinegar can enhance many dishes. Recipes for soups, stews, salads, chutneys and pasta can go from blah to wow! with just a dribble of the right type of vinegar.

Vinegar can counteract the pungent flavor of cabbage in slaws or enhance the sweetness of chutneys with the right balance of tartness. Other vinegars bring out the beautiful blend of flavors in cheeses and herbs, garden salads or appetizers.

What is vinegar made from?

Vinegar is made from fermented liquid and can be made from a variety of food products. The fermented base in vinegar usually comes from cider, beer or wine.

There are a vast variety of vinegars

Vinegars are produced from fermented liquids, such as, beer, ale or wine.
Vinegars are produced from fermented liquids, such as, beer, ale or wine. | Source

A Few Vinegar Types

There are a nice variety of vinegars. Each vinegar will provide a different flavor due to the different ingredients and fermentation processes. Each type of vinegar serves a different purpose and has unique acidity levels.

Some vinegar types include:

  • White Vinegar (distilled)
  • Malt Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Sherry Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Raspberry Vinegar
  • Black Vinegar

Cucumbers are usually pickled in white vinegar.
Cucumbers are usually pickled in white vinegar. | Source

White vinegar

White vinegar is made from grain alcohol and has a strong, harsh flavor. You will commonly find white vinegar in barbecue sauces and pickles. It is a common addition to boiling water and food dye during the Easter season. White vinegar is also a great cleanser in the kitchen and wash.

White vinegar tips:


  • Add one tablespoon of white vinegar when marinading tough cuts of meat.
  • Add a teaspoon of white vinegar to boiling water. Prevents pasta from being sticky.
  • Basic creamy vinaigrette: 1 part heavy cream, 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts oil. Whisk, chill and serve.


  • 1/2 a cup of vinegar in the wash will neutralize urine odors in sheets and other linens.
  • Spray white vinegar on the underarms of shirts and blouses. Helps remove perspiration stains and deodorant residue.


  • Microwave residue. Bring 1/2 a cup of white vinegar and 1/2 a cup of water to a boil in a microwave safe dish. The steam from the boiling water will loosen stubborn residue. Wipe clean.
  • Grout. Spray full strength white vinegar on grout and let soak. Scrub clean with a brush and wipe clean.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made from apple juice. This particular vinegar is common in chutneys and can be added to fruit salsas. Apple cider vinegar is popular for its various health benefits. Including, promising studies supporting apple cider vinegar may help prevent obesity and diabetes.

Here are a few potential health benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV):

  • 2 tablespoons of ACV in the evening showed lower glucose readings upon rising.
  • May reduce cholesterol levels.
  • May lower blood pressure readings.
  • Promising studies show AVC kills certain cancer cells.
  • Helps induce satiety when consumed during dieting.
  • Promotes clearer skin.
  • May reduce indigestion.

Malt vinegar is a common condiment with fish and chips.
Malt vinegar is a common condiment with fish and chips. | Source

Malt vinegar

Malt vinegar comes from the fermented liquid created by barley sprouts. The fermented liquid is maltose and basically becomes beer or ale. Malt vinegar is brown and has a somewhat nutty flavor. It is commonly used over fish and chips, cabbage and fried potatoes.

Malt vinegar is not a popular choice for salad dressings. Consider dipping fried potatoes into malt vinegar to enhance the flavor of the potato.

Balsamic vinegar and olive oil are a perfect topping for sliced tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil are a perfect topping for sliced tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. | Source

Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar comes from the Trebbianno, an Italian white grape. This type of vinegar is generally aged in wooden barrels for up to 20 years or more. Some commercial balsamic vinegars are aged for shorter periods and are not as expensive as the long term variety.

Balsamic vinegar is a great dressing for tomato dishes and salads.

A simple and beautiful salad.

  • slice a vine ripened red tomato
  • slice mozzarella cheese
  • chop a sprig of fresh basil

Layer the tomatoes and mozzarella diagonally across a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh basil. Delicious!

Olives are deliciously enhanced with a variety of vinegar dressings and marinades.
Olives are deliciously enhanced with a variety of vinegar dressings and marinades. | Source

Red wine vinegar

Red wine vinegar is made from fermented red wine. It is usually aged in wooden barrels. Red wine vinegar is commonly used in a variety of salad dressings. It is also used in some gazpacho recipes as it brings out the garden flavors of the tomatoes and other ingredients.

Kalamata olive, mushroom and onion salad:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Whisk the above ingredients together. Place 3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms and 3/4 cup sliced white onions in a bowl. Cover with whisked ingredients and fold until all of the items have been covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for two hours. Stir occasionally. Serve cold as a side relish dish. (pimentos or red peppers may be added for color)

Arugula salad can be complemented with a simple sherry vinegar and Dijon mustard dressing.
Arugula salad can be complemented with a simple sherry vinegar and Dijon mustard dressing. | Source
Chinese dumplings are commonly accompanied by a rice vinegar based dipping sauce.
Chinese dumplings are commonly accompanied by a rice vinegar based dipping sauce. | Source

Sherry vinegar

Sherry vinegar is created from fermented sherry. It has a strong, full flavor and is commonly used in soups, stews and sauces.

Sherry vinegar salad dressing: mix one part sherry vinegar to one part olive oil and one part Dijon mustard. Whisk and serve chilled over arugula.

What is rice vinegar?

Rice vinegar is made from fermented rice. It is a common ingredient in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. It compliments ginger and makes the perfect addition to slaws. It is also used as a dipping sauce.

Dumpling Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 minced garlic clove (single, not the full bulb)
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp chinese chile paste

Stir until blended and chill for one hour. Commonly served at room temperature in dipping bowls.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe
Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe | Source
Raspberry vinaigrette, fresh berries, feta and almonds are a tasty and healthy addition to organic baby greens.
Raspberry vinaigrette, fresh berries, feta and almonds are a tasty and healthy addition to organic baby greens. | Source

What is raspberry vinegar?

Raspberry vinegar is a favorite addition to salad dressings. Raspberry vinegar is made from fermented raspberry juice and is usually blended with salad oils to create the base for raspberry vinaigrette.

Simple raspberry vinaigrette recipe:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/4 raspberry wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • a sprinkle of ground oregano

Whisk well and chill. Serve over organic baby greens for a rich flavor. Enhance with toppings such as almonds, pecans, feta and berries.

Black vinegar originates from malt and rice.
Black vinegar originates from malt and rice. | Source

Black vinegar

Black vinegar originates from western China and is made from malt and rice. Black vinegar is not as acidic as other varieties of vinegars. It is commonly used as a dipping sauce when blended with sesame oil and soy sauce. Black vinegar can be sweetened with sugar and steamed with bok choy. Black vinegar is also used as a substitute to balsamic vinegar in vinaigrette recipes.

10 Ways to Clean with Vinegar Video

© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares


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    • profile image


      9 months ago

      i love using vinegars in my foods because it adds so much flavour.........

    • profile image


      9 months ago

      We also use vinegars,we have white vinegar and grape Cider vinegar,i love using vinegars in my foods because it adds so much flavour.....

    • Spanish Food profile image

      Lena Durante 

      2 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      I use a lot of Spanish sherry vinegar, as you can imagine, but I also keep a lot of these other kinds on hand, too. Not all vinegar is created equal, and there are certain dishes that just require a particular type to get the flavor you want.

      I love that you included some uses for white vinegar in cleaning. I make a paste with it and baking soda to smear on clothing stains. Then I just leave it in the sun for a day before washing!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Marissa, this was useful and interesting to know about vinegar and their purposes. I've used vinegar to remove urine stains on my clothes and sheets, courtesy from my cats, when they had litter box problems. Not all the time, I had to throw it out, since the stain remained in the wash. Voted up!

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      rose-theplanner, thank you! Glad to share, vinegar sure does make a difference in many dishes.

      Kathryn Stratford, thank you so very much for your wonderful and supportive comment. Isn't raspberry vinaigrette divine? I had some the other day and they topped the salad with fresh strawberries and candied pecans - oh so good! Dried cranberries are another of my favs, now you have me craving! ha! Glad to see you.

      Natashalh, you are so right about the ACV and what a great testimonial on how you also use it to remove scale. I bet there are other vinegars around the world I may have missed. I'll have to keep researching for more.

      Angelo52, black vinegar sure sounds strong - doesn't it? Thanks so much for the shares and votes. It is always a pleasure to see you.

      rebeccamealey, you are very welcome. Glad I could share the different uses and types with you.

      tillstitan, isn't it amazing how many different types of vinegar exist? Glad you liked the recipes and I greatly appreciate the votes and shares.

      Don Bobbitt, Hi there! Thank you! Ohhhh, I love adding tart flavors to some of my dishes, my husband is not as adventurous with his palate. I've heard wonderful testimonies on ACV for diabetes and high blood pressure. I do hope you stop back by to let us know if you have seen any improvement. Thanks again for your wonderful comment.

      vocalcoach, fish and chops with malt vinegar! Yum! I think Long John's Silvers is the only place I ever really see Malt Vinegar. Hmmmmm vinegar and spinach - I'll need to give that one a try. Glad to hear you also enjoy ACV for your health, another great testimony. Thank you so much for stopping by to read and comment.

      cclitgirl, Hi Cyndi! Really? You give it to your pup? Very interesting indeed.

      Victoria Lynn, LOL, food related hubs keep me craving and tempting all the time! Wow, another reader who likes spinach and vinegar.

      pinto2011, that is wonderful to hear. Let us know if she comes up with a new recipe, I'd love to read it.

      prettynutjob30, thank you for your votes and sharing. I'm thrilled to hear ACV has worked for you too. Many tout it as a miracle in a bottle, isn't it amazing all the uses just for ACV? Glad you came by to coment.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Excellent hub! I love using vinegar in my food because it adds so much flavour. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      6 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      I have only discovered how much I like vinegar for its many uses in the past few years. I use ACV quite often for many things (to condition my hair, in some baked goods, etc), and I always have white vinegar on hand to clean my coffee maker, as well as to clean the sink, and use as a base for a multi-purpose cleaner.

      I like the information you presented, as well as the layout. It is appealing to look at. I like that you have suggestions for every category, and a few quick recipes.

      I love raspberry vinaigrette! It is my favorite type of salad dressing. When I use it, I like to add dried cranberries and nuts to my salad. Mmm, decadent!

      Thanks for sharing this useful and lovely article with us. I will be referring back to it in the future. Have a fantastic day!

    • Natashalh profile image


      6 years ago from Hawaii

      ACV is so healthy and vinegar is a super helpful cleaner! I actually use it in my jewelry making business to clean fire scale off soldered metals. I'm with Angelo52, though - I've never heard of black vinegar!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Quite a list of vinegars. I have tried 3 or 4 of them but never even heard of black vinegar. Thumbs up and shared.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks for the vinegar types. I really needed that info to better know and use vinegar. Vinegar has so many great uses. Thanks for reminding us about all the good things you can do with vinegar!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I never knew about half of these vinegars, shows what a good cook I am. Not only did you explain each vinegar but your recipes are definitely keepers. I've just started using rice vinegar so now I can catch up.

      Voted up, useful, and very interesting.

    • Don Bobbitt profile image

      Don Bobbitt 

      6 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Another great Missolve article.

      Great information for a lover of tart foods and especially Vinegar. I presently take a shot of Apple Vinegar each morning to help with my Diabetes. Does it work? I don't know, but it tastes good! LOL!

      Thanks for the Hub. Voted UP and Interesting.


    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      This hub reminded me of the fish and chips I had for lunch last week. I absolutely had to have malt vinegar sprinkled on both fish and the fries in order to take even one bite :)

      My daddy always used vinegar on his spinach and I do too. I also mix Bragg's vinegar with the "mother" in it, to my water each day for health purposes.

      Excellent information for the uses of vinegar. I love the stuff!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      6 years ago from Western NC

      I'm still addicted to this stuff. I even have some in my puppy's bowl (just a teeny amount) but it helps with digestion and overall balance. It's like a miracle or something, LOL

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      All this talk about vinegar makes my mouth salivate--kind of like pickles do! I love malt vinegar on spinach, too. I need to remember all these little tricks, like using apple cider vinegar in the washer!

    • pinto2011 profile image


      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      My wife loves different types of vinegar and surely with this many variety I am going to really please her.

    • prettynutjob30 profile image


      6 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Great hub, voted up and shared, I have been drinking apple cider vinegar for the past four months and it does wonders for your digestive system, I use to have tummy aches all the time this has stopped since I have been drinking the vinegar.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      breakfastpop, thank you! I'm honored to know you will be printing this as a reference. I really appreciate the votes and lovely comment.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      6 years ago

      I love this hub. I am going to print it and use it as a reference. Vinegar is like wine. There are so many varieties. Thanks so much. Voted up, useful and awesome.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      celebrite, hi there! Vinegar in salads is great. I've even started adding balsamic vinegar to my sandwiches. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

    • celebritie profile image


      7 years ago

      I like to put vinegar on my salads this is a great selection of the various types of vinegar uses and recipes.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Angelo52, isn't it amazing how many there are? I do hope you like the others. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Dr. Pooja, thank you! What a wonderful compliment. I appreciate it.

    • Dr Pooja profile image

      Dr Pooja 

      7 years ago

      Wonderful hub with plenty of information.Many of us will now know the correct source and use of vinegars we see in stores

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice article. I've used white, apple and red wine vinegars but not the others. Guess I'll keep an eye for them in the grocery store.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Victoria Lynn, thanks Vicki! I appreciate that.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      What a beautiful hub! Great information and well laid out. Great job!

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Peggy W, cooking must be fun at your house. You have a wonderful selection. Hopefully you'll be able to add Black Vinegar to your inventory as well. Thank you so much for reading, commenting, voting and sharing.

      Lucky Cats, Ohhhh balsamic vinegar is one of my favorites. I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub. I appreciate you stopping by to read. Thanks for the votes too.

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi there missolive! I absolutely LOVE vinegar and, not a day passes that I don't use it in a recipe, salads, over hot, fresh tomatoes. Particularly Balsamic vinegar, and flavored vinegars such as garlic, dill, rosemary, raspberry. Always been an addict when it comes to this great condiment (?). LOVE the recipes and information about the different flavors/regions and kinds. Thank you for bringing this topic up as just thinking about it makes my taste buds tingle!!! UP Useful Interesting AND awesome!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We have all of these vinegars and even more in our home with the exception of black vinegar. I am not familiar with that. Will have to get some and taste it. Very informative hub and I liked the recipes you included. Up votes and sharing.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      cclitgirl, Hi Cyndi! There are quite a few types out there. My daughter also enjoys her ACV on a daily basis. It is something I should pick up again. Thanks for reading and leaving such a great comment - thanks for sharing.

      HawaiiHeart, Balsamic vinegar is one of my favs over salad. Thanks!

      Teresa Coppens, Thank you so much. Oh my goodness, I do love olives - literally! They are so good.

    • Teresa Coppens profile image

      Teresa Coppens 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Fantastic hub, Marissa. I will have to add apple cider vinegar to my daily regimen and the kalamata olive salad looks divine!

    • HawaiiHeart profile image


      7 years ago from Hawaii

      That dumpling sauce sure looks delicious! I love balsamic vinegar. Great and informative hum!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      7 years ago from Western NC

      Oh my goodness! What a helpful hub! I didn't know about all the different types of vinegar and what you can use them for. I am a faithful user of apple cider vinegar - with water and a little honey - every day because of the health benefits. I am going to have to try these other types with these dishes that you suggest, though. YUM! Thank you so much for sharing this.

    • missolive profile imageAUTHOR

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      QuadisiaP1, magical indeed! Thank you!

      melbel, hey! That sounds pretty good! Thanks for sharing.

      teaches12345, temptation, temptations. Aren't they wonderful?! Enjoy!

      breakfastpop, that is wonderful to hear. I'm happy I was able to. Thanks!

      RealHousewife, I bet you are right! It does sound like something that would be in potsticker dipping sauce. I bet you can find it at your local Asian market. Let me know if you figure out the recipe - enjoy!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      This is a beautiful hub as usual! I love all kinds of vinegars and the only one I have not tried is Black I am sure it is in plenty of food I have eaten but I didn't know it. I bet that is what they put in the potsticker dipping sauce - I've never been able to replicate that! I will have to order some...I have never seen it around here or I would have tried it before!

      Malt vinegar and fish and chips! Mmmmmm!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for this very informative and useful hub. I use vinegar (all types) all the time, but you have just taught me a few things.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      You have reminded me of how much I used to love Malt vinegar on fish and chips. I am going to have to pick some up next time I go to the grocery store. Didn't know what these vinegars were made from. Thank you for the extra knowledge. Voted up!

    • melbel profile image

      Melanie Shebel 

      7 years ago from Midwest USA

      I LOVE rice vinegar. I boil about 1/3 cup of it with three tablespoons of sugar, some salt and add it to rice, then add some chopped nori and toasted sesame seeds. Roll it into balls and press into thick patties... a great snack that you can carry around, lasts all day.

      It's just like onigiri, but it uses sushi rice so it's way more flavorful. (I find onigiri to be too bland, whereas the vinegar/sugar/salt mix of sushi rice is waaaay yum.

      Rice vinegar is the best stuff ever.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Ah vinegar such a magical potion it can be at times. :)


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