Making Balsamic Glaze Is Easier Than You Might Think

In the realm of Italian cooking, balsamic vinegar maintains a special place on shelves. Balsamic not only holds its own against other vinegars, but also acts as an essential component — or last drizzle — on all kinds of dishes. You can use balsamic to spruce up your favorite salads, marinades, and even cocktails.

Yes, balsamic is one of those ingredients that lends itself to the sweet and savory. However, balsamic doesn't have to be vinegar. That's right: don't glaze over balsamic glaze, which is nearly as easy to make as it is to use. 

Balsamic glaze is nothing more than a balsamic vinegar reduction. It's a thicker version of the beloved vinegar that works well as, yet again, a dressing, pizza topping, and even accompaniment on berries. Many people buy balsamic glaze straight from the grocery store. However, like many things, the homemade version is surprisingly simple — and just as delicious as what you'll find on shelves.

Beyond that convenience factor, making balsamic glaze will free up space on your shelves, so you don't need to buy both a bottle of vinegar and glaze. Rather, you can hang onto the vinegar and tailor its consistency to your meal. It's much quicker than a trip to the grocery store — and all you need is your favorite balsamic vinegar and a stove.

Boil your balsamic vinegar to get your glaze

While balsamic glaze sounds fancy, making it at home is truly as simple as boiling your favorite balsamic vinegar. Boiling the vinegar ultimately thickens your balsamic vinegar into a glaze. It also helps sweeten it, creating a more developed flavor with a syrupy consistency. 

As such, you can easily whip up your own balsamic glaze without heading to the grocery store. Simply use the balsamic vinegar you already have on hand, and simmer it in your saucepan for roughly 15 minutes. You'll know it's done when the liquid has thickened into a more viscous, glaze-like sauce.

Once you master a classic balsamic glaze, you can experiment with new flavors and sweeteners. Many balsamic glaze recipes call for the addition of extra sweeteners, like white or brown sugar.  Honey balsamic glaze, however, is just as easy to make as the regular version. With the added honey, you can make a glaze that pairs with bruschetta as well as it does ice cream. Who needs hot fudge? With balsamic glaze, the culinary possibilities are limitless — and you don't even need to buy a new bottle.