Balsamic Glaze (Balsamic Reduction)


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It’s so easy to make a balsamic glaze (balsamic reduction) at home. It only takes 15 minutes and it’s better than buying it from the store (which usually has unnecessary stabilizers, emulsifiers and colorings).

Balsamic glaze in a small glass jar

I’m pretty much obsessed with balsamic vinegar. I drizzle it on salads with a little olive oil (it’s my “go to” daily dressing). I use it to amp up the flavor of chicken in my roasted balsamic chicken recipe. I use it when making balsamic roasted beets. And I use it when making my balsamic bacon Brussels sprouts. Essentially, I use balsamic vinegar any chance I get.

But when it comes to a balsamic glaze, with that thick, sweet drizzle, the first thing that always comes to mind is caprese salad, right? And for a fun spin on that recipe, go for a persimmon caprese. It’s the perfect fall and winter salad.

A balsamic glaze or reduction is quite versatile. It can be used with both sweet and savory items and the pungency of vinegar is removed. When you reduce balsamic vinegar, you’re actually evaporating the water and concentrating the sugars. So it’s naturally sweetened. That makes it perfect to drizzle on veggies, brush on meat, serve as a dip with aged cheeses (or fruit) or dollop on ice cream.

Then again, if you’re like me, you’ll just want to add a straw and slurp it straight up!

Holding a bottle of balsamic vinegar

How to Make Balsamic Reduction

The great thing about making balsamic reduction at home is that it only takes one ingredient – balsamic vinegar. And about 15 minutes of your time.

  • Just add one cup of balsamic vinegar to a small pot.
  • Bring that to a boil, then reduce the temperature and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • You can reduce it by 1/3 or 1/2, depending on how thick you like it. Just remember that it will continue to thicken as it cools. That’s it!

Which balsamic vinegar should you use? Good news, you also don’t need to buy an expensive balsamic vinegar when making it at home. A moderately priced organic or Aceto Balsamico di Modena (balsamic vinegar from the Modena region) is what I usually use.

Reducing balsamic vinegar in a pot on the stove
Balsamic glaze in a small glass jar

How to Make Balsamic Glaze

In all honesty, I don’t usually add any extra sugar to my balsamic reduction. I find that when it’s reduced it becomes abundantly sweet on its own. But if you’d like to make a sweeter balsamic glaze, you can definitely add 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup to the pot with the balsamic vinegar. Then reduce it as mentioned above.

It’s up to you if you’d like to add a sweetener. Though I’d recommend trying it without the sweetener at least on your first try.

Balsamic glaze dripping off a spoon

How To Store

You can store your balsamic reduction or glaze in a sealed container in the fridge for several weeks.

Balsamic Glaze Recipe Video

While it’s easy to make balsamic glaze, it always helps to watch a quick video tutorial. Especially to see how the sauce thickens up. Click play below!

Once you’ve made this sweet glaze, let us know in a comment below what you’re adding it to!

Balsamic glaze on a spoon

Balsamic Glaze (Balsamic Reduction)

4.88 from 16 votes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Homemade balsamic glaze (balsamic reduction) is easy and cost-effective. All you need is balsamic vinegar and 15 minutes. Watch the recipe video above to see how thick my glaze gets.



  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Optional sweetener: 1 to 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup


  • Add the balsamic vinegar and any sweetener to a small pot. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
    Boiling balsamic vinegar on the stove
  • Use immediately or store in a sealed container in the fridge. It will continue to thicken up as it cools.
    Balsamic glaze dripping off a spoon

Lisa’s Tips

  • Remember that the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. If you accidentally overcook it and it starts to harden, you can reheat it with a little bit of water to thin it back down.


Calories: 30kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.4g | Protein: 0.2g | Sodium: 7.4mg | Sugar: 4.8g
Course: sauce
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Balsamic Glaze, Balsamic Reduction
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted December 2017, but updated to include new information.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I have always enjoyed a balsamic glaze, although I never knew that is what it was called. I would go out of my way to frequent restaurants that had it on salads. Now I can make my own. It is delicious and I feel very proud! Thanks for sharing, sometimes it’s the simple things.5 stars

  2. Hi Lusa, love your recipes! I’m making this glaze for your Brussel and chicken recipe. Can I make thatcrwcipe a day in advance! If so how would I repheat it so it isn’t all dried out I do intend to use boneless, skinless thighs, a few drumsticks and fussy only bonekess chicken breast guests a bit tricky cooking I would imagine but I so want to try this yummy looking chicken veggie dinner T
    hanks Lisa

    1. I would splash some water on top of the chicken, or add a damp paper towel on it before reheating in the microwave.

  3. Thank you for telling me the ratio for preparing the glaze. So many sites assume the cook knows the quantity.

    I previously purchased some ‘glaze’ but didn’t know its exact purpose, only knew that it was very good and used it sparingly. (I’m a southern cook, raised in a local family owned drive-in restaurant serving fried chicken and homemade mashed potato and potato salad. My reason and apology for my ignorance.)5 stars

  4. I purchased a bottle of the glaze and you are correct about the ingredients .I am going to make my own using yr recipe , thanks ! I really didn’t know how to use it , thanks again !5 stars

    1. Hi Marcia – it will last for a couple of months in a sealed container in the fridge. And thank you! :)

  5. Can you use white vinegar? Just curious about how it would turn out. I have a couple small bottles that I haven’t used yet.5 stars

    1. Hi Karen – no, you need balsamic vinegar for this recipe as it’s sweet and turns syrupy when reduced.

  6. Dear Lisa, I live in Modena and I loooooove balsamic vinegar!! Your reduction is great! Have you tried it on strawberries? Delicious 😋!
    Julia5 stars

  7. Super simple to do and I did enjoy the 1 tablespoon of honey I added near the end. Beautiful consistency after simmering about 8-10 minutes in a saute pan. It thickened as it cooled to a lovely syrup for drizzling.5 stars

  8. Hi, I was wondering what the serving size is for the reduction? It’s 30 cals but not sure for what amount. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Summer – it depends how much you reduce the recipe, but it is approximately one tablespoon :)

  9. What’s the best way to store? Room temperature or refrigerated? Open container or something with a lid? Thank you!

    1. Hi Evelyn – I usually store my balsamic reduction in a container (usually a jar) with a lid and place it in the fridge.

    1. Hi Pete – You can purchase the jar in my shop. It should be under the meal prep/storage section :)

  10. Maybe you should make a test between reducing with and without boiling. From our balsamic supplier regarding reduction: The balsamic should never be allowed to boil or the natural sugar will burn and become bitter.  The pot should be watched carefully.  The process can take as long as 30 minutes but the results will be worth the effort.  The finished reduction should be thick and light amber in color.  Once smell slightly of caramel and complex fruit.  Allow to cook completely and then transfer to a jar.  Once allowed to sit, and cool the flavor will become more complex.  It can be kept on the counter or in the refrigerator, however refrigeration is not necessary.  Use to glaze pork, poultry, ribs, fresh fruit or paired with cheeses.

    1. I’ve never had a burned or bitter flavor in my balsamic reduction, so that’s interesting. But you could certainly reduce it over a lower temperature for a longer period of time. :)

    2. I just followed the instructions as written. But, I did almost continually stir the balsamic vinegar just until beginning to boil. Then turned heat down to gentle simmer for another 5-6 minutes. Worked beautifully. No bitter taste. Lots of stirring with spatula! 😁

    1. You’re welcome! It really is a simple recipe, but it’s lovely to drizzle on so many different things. :)

    1. It may have been impacted by the type and size of pot you used. But glad you got it in the end! :)

  11. I should try this today! Still hasn’t figured out what to do with my balsamic vinegar after I bought it 2 months ago ;D

    1. Yes, then you could easily whip up a caprese! And personally, I drizzle balsamic straight out of the bottle onto all of my salads. ;)