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Balsamic Reduction (Balsamic Glaze)

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

It's easy to make balsamic reduction (balsamic glaze) at home. It just takes one ingredient and 15 minutes!

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 reduction, 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.

Watch this quick video of my Balsamic Reduction recipe

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

Use it on Sweet and Savory Items

A balsamic reduction or glaze is quite versatile. It can be used with both sweet and savory items and the pungency of vinegar 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.

It's easy to make balsamic reduction (balsamic glaze) at home. It just takes one ingredient and 15 minutes!

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.

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.

When you buy balsamic reduction or glaze from the store you’ll find several unnecessary ingredients like caramel colorings, glucose syrup, sugar, corn starch, dextrose and xantham gum. And the shop brand likely used a very low-quality balsamic vinegar to start with. So it’s kind of junky stuff.

But here’s how easy it is to make balsamic reduction:

  • Just add one cup of balsamic vinegar to a small pot.
  • Bring that to a boil, then reduce the temperature and simmer for about 10-15 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!

It's easy to make balsamic reduction (balsamic glaze) at home. It just takes one ingredient and 15 minutes!

It's easy to make balsamic reduction (balsamic glaze) at home. It just takes one ingredient and 15 minutes!

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 1-2 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. Enjoy!

It's easy to make balsamic reduction (balsamic glaze) at home. It just takes one ingredient and 15 minutes!

It's easy to make balsamic reduction (balsamic glaze) at home. It just takes one ingredient and 15 minutes!
4.72 from 7 votes

Balsamic Reduction (Balsamic Glaze)

Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Homemade balsamic reduction (balsamic glaze) is easy and cost effective. All you need is balsamic vinegar and 15 minutes. Watch the recipe video above to see how thick my sauce gets.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Optional 1-2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Instructions

  • Add the balsamic vinegar and any sweetener to a small pot. 
  • Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
  • Use immediately or store in a sealed container in the fridge.

Lisa's Tips

  • Remember that the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. If you accidentally over cook it and it starts to harden, you can just reheat with a little bit of water to thin it back down.
  • The balsamic reduction or glaze will store for several weeks in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

Nutrition

Calories: 30kcal, Carbohydrates: 5.4g, Protein: 0.2g, Sodium: 7.4mg, Sugar: 4.8g
Course: sauce
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Balsamic Glaze, Balsamic Reduction
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26 comments on “Balsamic Reduction (Balsamic Glaze)”

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

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

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

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

  3. I love the bottle you have used,do you have a link to purchase those bottles please. TIA

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

  4. 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.

  5. Love it on a burger. mozzarella and balsamic reduction absolute favorite 

    Rating: 5
  6. Added maple syrup and my simmer temp was right around medium. Anything less and it barely produced steam.

    Rating: 4
  7. Love the simplicity. Thank you so much

    Rating: 5
  8. Takes FAR LONGER than 15 minutes, actually more than 30.

    Rating: 4
  9. I just made it. This is so easy! Thanks for sharing!

    Rating: 5
  10. 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

  11. “its own”, not “it’s own”.

  12. I could eat this on just about anything!

    Rating: 5