Friday, May 29, 2009

How Sweet Is the Balsamic Syrup?

Each time I reached in the pantry for spices, I knocked down about 5 bottles of really cheap balsamic vinegar. Then, after recent meals at Da Vinci and Nebo, I discovered the bliss that is balsamic syrup. Ridiculously simple to prepare, it tastes of citrus, acid and sweetness all blended together. On top of strawberries and ice cream (my own version of a Da Vinci sundae), it is a perfect dessert. Strewn on cheese it adds a sweetness with a bite.
I don't have a real recipe here, just a guide as to how I prepared it.

Balsamic Syrup
Get a very big pot. Pour in the vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer until reduced by a half. (Note, the smell is really, really pungent!) Add brown sugar. I just kept adding it until the balsamic syrup was just sweet enough. At this point you can add rosemary and garlic for a more savory syrup to put on top of meat. I added ground coriander for a floral scent which was delicious with the berries. (Thanks to Chef Peppino of Da Vinci for this idea!) Simmer until it reduces further and is...well...syrupy.

Store in the refrigerator. It will get thicker as it chills.


  1. I'll admit that I'm a little lazy and usually just pour the balsamic over my strawberries, especially when the strawberries are in season and super sweet. This sounds like a great way of dressing up out of season berries, though!

  2. This looks yummy. Have you tried aged balsamic vinegar(12 years or older)? It's syrupy and has a nice complex flavor. I love adding it on top of vanilla ice cream and raspberries.