Balsamic Glaze (Balsamic Reduction)
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).
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!
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.
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.
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 (Balsamic Reduction)
- 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.
- Use immediately or store in a sealed container in the fridge. It will continue to thicken up as it cools.
- 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.
Recipe originally posted December 2017, but updated to include new information.