How to Make a Chive Blossom Vinegar Infusion

Close up of purple chive blossoms

Making chive blossom infused vinegar is a springtime herb crafting ritual for me. It not only brings a splash of color to dishes but also adds a mild onion flavor, reminiscent of the fresh days of spring. It’s a versatile pantry staple, perfect for enhancing salad dressings, marinades, soups, and sauces.

purple chive blossoms in the garden
Chives are a charming and flavorful addition to any herb garden. Both their stems and flowers are edible.

As winter gives way to spring, the garden begins to burst with color.  One of the first signs of the new season is the emergence of chives (Allium schoenoprasum) in the herb garden.

Most of the other herbs are still dormant or just barely getting started in spring and won’t be ready for me to harvest much from them for a few months. But chives on the other hand are getting a big head start in March and will soon grace me with their blooms.

Once they flower, these lovely lavender pom-poms on green chive stems add a charming touch to any herb patch. Although they bloom for just a short time, one way you can capture and preserve their delicate flavor is by infusing them into vinegar.

A partially opened chive blossom.
Chive blossoms can be harvested and eaten fresh which add oniony bursts of flavor to any dish. I like to preserve them to capture that fresh flavor of spring when little else is growing.

Why Chive Blossom Vinegar?

There are certainly other ways to use up these early spring delights. You can eat them fresh on salads or dehydrate them whole and grind them up for spice, much like I do my green onion powder. You can also save the dried blossoms whole for later use.

I like to infuse them into vinegar. Because of its culinary uses and visual appeal, chive blossom vinegar offers several benefits:

  • Celebrating Spring: Making chive blossom vinegar is a delightful way to celebrate the arrival of spring and the abundance of fresh herbs.
  • Flavor Boost: The gentle onion-like taste of chive blossoms enhances dishes without overpowering other ingredients.
  • Edible Decor: The vibrant purple color of chive blossoms tints the vinegar a light shade of pink which adds a pop of color to your homemade herb crafting collection.
A small vinegar bottle labeled chive blossom vinegar.
One of my favorite spring herb crafting rituals is to harvest and infuse chive blossoms in vinegar.

Harvesting and Preparing Chive Blossoms

To make chive blossom vinegar, start by harvesting fresh blossoms:

  • Pick them in the morning when they’re most fragrant and vibrant.
  • Choose fully open blossoms, avoiding any that look wilted or damaged.
  • Carefully snip them from the stem, then rinse gently under cool water and pat dry.
  • I allow them to dry completely to make sure no water makes its way into the vinegar.
Harvested chive blossoms in a basket
Harvest chive blossoms by snipping them from the stem and gathering them into a basket.

The Infusion Process

Making chive blossom vinegar is simple:

  • Gather your supplies: a clean, dry glass jar, white wine or champagne vinegar, and your harvested blossoms.
  • Fill the jar three-quarters full with blossoms, then pour vinegar over them, ensuring they’re submerged.
  • Seal the jar and let it infuse in a cool, dark place for two to three weeks.
  • After infusion, strain the vinegar, discarding the blossoms, and transfer the liquid to a clean bottle or jar.

You can use apple cider vinegar or regular white vinegar, but I like to use white wine or champagne vinegar. They have a much lighter flavor allowing the chive flavor to really shine through. They are also clear so the color of the blossoms can infuse into the vinegar and give it that pretty pink.

I like to find or repurpose whimsical little corked jars to store my vinegar infusions in.  I use the vintage herb and spice labels and free printable hang tags designed and printed by my friend Alison at Canning Crafts

Holding a bouquet of chive blossoms

Culinary Uses for Chive Blossom Vinegar

Once you have your chive blossom vinegar, get creative in the kitchen:

  • Use it in salad dressings with olive oil, mustard, and honey.
  • Make tangy marinades by combining it with garlic, herbs, and soy sauce.
  • Add a splash to condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, or mustard for a unique twist.
  • Drizzle it over soups, stews, beans, and chili before serving for extra flavor.
  • Mix it with sparkling water or lemonade for a refreshing beverage.
Bottle with pink chive blossom vinegar
Chive blossom vinegar makes a beautiful addition to your herb crafting collection. I source these herbal hang tags from canningcrafts.com.

Growing Chives in the Ecological Garden

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the ecological benefits of flowering herbs in the garden and chives are no exception. Chive flowers serve as excellent attractors for pollinators.

Since they emerge and bloom early in the season they offer vital food sources during spring when few other plants are flowering.

Likewise, if you happen to grow garlic chives (Allium tuberosum), they bloom in the middle of the season, featuring white blossoms that predominantly draw bees, along with some butterflies. Despite their shared genus, garlic chives are distinct species with their own unique characteristics.

A small gray hairstreak butterfly atop a chive blossom
Small gray hairstreak butterflies are some of the first pollinators that visit the chive blossoms in my garden each spring.

An Easy Herb for Beginning Gardeners

Planting chives in your garden is a simple process, and they’re a great crop for beginning herb gardeners. Begin by sowing seeds in either spring or summer.

Simply sprinkle them on the soil’s surface, lightly cover them, tamp the soil securely, and ensure they are kept warm and consistently moist until germination occurs. Once the seedlings have emerged, thin them out or transplant them, leaving about 6 inches of space between each plant.

Chives thrive in moist, well-draining garden soil, ranging from regular to rich in nutrients, and they prefer locations that receive full sun to partial shade.

Typically, chives will start to produce their purple blossoms about one to two years after planting, and then will return each spring. In my garden in Eastern Oklahoma, they bloom in early to mid-May but I have had them as early as mid-April.

Garlic chives bloom later in summer and last into fall in my garden. They can also be infused in vinegar but their flavor is much more powerful and garlicky. You don’t need to infuse them as long. 

garlic chives in flower
Garlic chives boast a much stronger garlic flavor and bloom large white blossoms in summer into fall. Pollinators are also attracted to these flowers.

Enjoy the fleeting beauty and flavor of chive blossoms with this homemade vinegar. Let it remind you of sunny days in your garden, surrounded by fragrant herbs and blooms.

A small skinny bottle containing pink chive blossom infused vinegar.

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Cultivating Nature's Wisdom

I’m a nature photographer and gardener sharing how I created an ecological garden in a small suburban backyard. I also share a few tips for growing and using herbs to craft your own homegrown spice blends.

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