Balsamic Reduction

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Balsamic reduction is easily one of my top 5 sauces, and it’s so easy to make at home! Keep this tangy sweet balsamic glaze on hand for drizzling over grilled meats, fresh vegetables, salads, and more!

balsamic reduction dripping off a gold spoon

If someone forced me to pick just one vinegar to keep in my pantry at all times, I would choose balsamic vinegar.

I pray no one actually makes me choose, because I’m a vinegar hoarder who loves all her babies vinegars equally.

Still, I have to admit balsamic vinegar is the MVP.

It adds lovely rich flavor to Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Balsamic Roasted Green Beans, and Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken. It’s the face behind all the sweet tang in this Cranberry Brie Crostini.

It makes a killer balsamic salad dressing and is downright divine mixed with olive oil and herbs for bread dipping.

But I believe balsamic vinegar’s finest achievement is balsamic reduction.

bottle of balsamic vinegar beside a sauce pot

What is balsamic reduction?

Never heard of balsamic reduction? Your world is about to get a little tastier. Balsamic reduction is just what it sounds like!

We take a good thing (balsamic vinegar) and make it even BETTER by cooking it, reducing it into a thick, tangy, subtly sweet glaze. This syrupy balsamic adds incredible nuance to everything from fresh berries and ice cream (yes, really!) to sandwiches and grilled vegetables.

Though most grocery stores carry balsamic reduction in some form (it’s often called balsamic glaze), it’s so easy to make at home! I’m so excited to share this simple recipe that’s a game changer for your summer grilling and so much more!

sauce pot of balsamic vinegar

How to Make Balsamic Reduction

Do you have a bottle of balsamic vinegar in your pantry? You’ve got everything you need!

  1. To make the reduction, add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a sauce pot and cook over medium high heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce the heat to where the vinegar is just maintaining a gentle simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar is reduced by half. It should be darkened in color and coat the back of a spoon. This can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes, depending on the heat and type of vinegar you started with.

The spoon on the left shows balsamic vinegar, and the spoon on the right shows the balsamic reduction. As you can see, the reduction is significantly darker in color and thicker too!

1 spoon with balsamic vinegar and 1 spoon with balsamic reduction

Troubleshooting and Tips

  • Any kind of balsamic vinegar can be reduced into a syrupy glaze. That said, the higher quality the vinegar, the better the flavor of the glaze will be.
  • Want your balsamic reduction to be sweeter? Feel free to add a few teaspoons of honey or sugar. I’ve found this is sometimes necessary when I use a cheaper balsamic vinegar.
  • While making balsamic glaze isn’t difficult, it does require some patience. If it doesn’t seem to be thickening, just wait a few more minutes. Make sure it’s maintaining a a good simmer, but resist the urge to bring it to a full boil. And remember, the glaze will thicken more as it cools.
  • This may seem silly, but beware of taking deep breaths close to the pot! A whiff of vinegar vapor is not very pleasant.
  • Feel free to double the recipe if you’d like to make a bigger batch!

How to Use Balsamic Glaze

Now that you know how make an incredible balsamic reduction, let’s discuss all the ways we’ll put this beautiful stuff to use!

balsamic reduction dripping off a spoon into a sauce pot

How long does balsamic reduction last?

Homemade balsamic glaze should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. When stored properly, it will last for several months.

balsamic reduction dripping off a gold spoon

Balsamic Reduction

Yield: 1/2 cup
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This homemade balsamic reduction recipe is a sweet and tangy glaze that's perfect drizzled over grilled meats, caprese salads, berries, and much more!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Place the balsamic vinegar in a sauce pot and heat over medium high until boiling.
  2. Lower the heat so the vinegar maintains a steady simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar is reduced by half. It should be thick, dark in color, and coat the back of the spoon.
  3. Use immediately or cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Notes

If you like your reduction to be a little sweeter, feel free to add 1-2 teaspoons of sugar to the vinegar before boiling. You can also stir in honey at the end.

This recipe can be doubled if you'd like to have a larger amount on hand.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 28Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 7mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 0g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

Did you make this recipe?

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