Balsamic syrup, balsamic glaze, balsamic reduction. Call it what you like, this stuff is the goods.

Really, any of the above are just a fancy way of saying reduced balsamic vinegar.

You can buy a variety of reduced balsamic glazes in the grocery store but they’re often overpriced and filled with preserving ingredients that are unnecessary, not to mention kind of groddy.

Making it yourself couldn’t be easier and you can play around with infusing different flavors into your vinegar.

The versatility to this sweet-tangy sauce is endless. It can be used to dress salads, as a finishing sauce for grilled chicken or fish, as a dip for vegetables,and it’s delicious drizzled over vanilla ice cream or fresh berries- strawberries are my favorite!


As easy as it is to make, it does require some patience regarding the cooking time. And a few quick tips will help that the process goes smoothly.

The vinegar can burn all to quickly towards the end- like fine one minute, burned to holy high water the next. Resulting in a sour smelling kitchen and leaving you with a witch of a sauce pan to clean up. Keep in mind the size of the pan you’re using. The wider the base, the more surface area thus making the vinegar reduce quicker. If you use a smaller sauce pan, it will take longer to reduce the same amount of vinegar.

Once you bring the vinegar to a simmer, turn the heat back so it reduces slowly. It’s easy to have the heat to high on the vinegar and it will reduce to quickly, again, resulting in a burned vinegar mess.

If you can avoid over reducing the glaze, you’re home free.

I’m giving you a recipe calling for an exact amount of vinegar (2 cups). To make it easier on you! I know some of you like things “exact.” Not really my style but I like to make things as simple as I can on you! But if you like flying by the seat of your pants in the kitchen (my kind of cook!) you can use whatever amount of vinegar that suits your fancy and reduce it by about two thirds.

Once cooled, the balsamic glaze can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge. If you do store it in the fridge don’t be alarmed if it hardens a bit. Simply pull it out of the fridge well before you want to use it or put some warm water in a mug and let the vinegar sit in the mug for a few minutes bringing it to room temperature quickly.

The recipe I’m offering up today is for a basic reduced balsamic. I’ve infused mine with everything from garlic to a stick of cinnamon. Following are just a few ideas to add flavor to your balsamic glaze:

  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig rosemary or other hearty herb
  • whole peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • orange rind

Depending on how strong you want the particular flavor to stand out, infusion time will vary. Start with 10 minutes and taste the vinegar. Play around from there.


How To: Make Reduced Balsamic Glaze

An easy DIY recipe for making balsamic glaze. It's much more cost effective than the store bought versions and is great for drizzling on so many things!


  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar


  1. Pour vinegar into a small non-reactive sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low reduce the vinegar for about 30-40 minutes or until the vingar has become thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. You should end up with just more than 1/2 a cup.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour into an airtight container and store at either room temperature or in the fridge. If you do store it in the fridge don't be alarmed if it hardens up a bit. Simply place the container into a mug of warm water and it will soften quickly.


It's very important to keep a watchful eye when reducing the balsamic so it doesn't over reduce and burn.
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31 Responses to How To Make Reduced Balsamic Glaze

  1. I am such a fan of balsamic vinegar – I use it in everything – but I never thought to reduce it. What a great idea. And I love the suggested flavorings. Rosemary and balsamic! Yum!!!

  2. Kalyn says:

    Great idea making this yourself and infusing with whatever flavor suits what you’re using it with. I’ve bought this a few times at William Sonoma and it’s very pricey!

  3. Hey you!! Can I tell you how happy I am that we have finally met for reals. Love the balsamic reduction. The cinnamon stick is a really nice touch that I will try.

  4. Sandy @ RE says:

    I love balsamic glaze on goat cheese and chicken. We served it for my Dad’s Father’s Day dinner over our garden strawberries. So yummy.

    Such a treat to meet you. I wish we could can together this summer! My EVO post is going up tomorrow and I’ll link to you. 🙂

  5. Perfect! It’s also great over grilled peaches, of all things!

  6. Maria says:

    I love balsamic on almost anything!

  7. Paul says:

    Thanks for the How To. As a novice I just wanted to add that while the reduced balsamic vinegar will look very fluid while still in the pan, once you take it out it will quickly become more like a syrup. Just wanted to point that out in case anyone was going to wait for it to become a syrup while in the pan (does become a bit thicker).

  8. Trish says:

    The reduction sounds great, but I need help with cleaning the “Witch of a pan”. My daughter burned some balsamic vinegar into my non-stick pan and I can’t get it off! Any suggestions? The pan has been soaking for almost a week now. Help!

  9. Michelle Fletcher says:

    While it is reducing, in the 30-40 minute stage, do you need to keep stirring it?

    • Kelley says:

      Yes, but only occasionally. Let me know how it turns out. Careful as it burns quickly! It will continue to thicken up once you take it off the heat.

      • Michelle Fletcher says:

        Thanks! Can’t wait to try this; I love a good Caprese Salad with Shrimp, but prefer the reduction to the straight balsamic vinegar.

  10. Sthornsbury says:

    Thanks for the recipe! How long can u store the glaze at room temperature or in the refrigerator? Thanks! 🙂

  11. Phil says:

    When you say a “non-reactive” pan – is stainless steel OK

    I use Stellar Pans and they cost me a few bob

  12. Shawna says:

    At what point do you add whatever you are infusing it with? Ex th garlic clove

  13. Kle says:

    Trish – I second the Barkeepers. I was steaming brussel sprouts once and forgot to put water in the bottom pot – it sat on med-high heat for about 10 minutes and the brussel sprouts smelled like the end of cigarette butts. The entire inside of my All-Clad copper core pan was completely black…eeks! I used barkeepers on it and it looks almost new again! Something to always keep on hand under the sink!

  14. […] with lemon and olive oil. I sprinkle the burrata with coarse salt and pepper and drizzle with reduced balsamic. A glass of red wine and I tell you this is all I need for dinner. It’s just so […]

  15. […] condiment aisle perusing, I went ahead and bought the Trader Joe’s version. You can certainly make your own by boiling balsamic vinegar until it reduces to a syrup, or you can get a store-bought […]

  16. Sue Appleton says:

    I have a balsamic vinegar that its already blended with sherry. Will this reduce the same?

  17. Shari says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning the size of the pan!!!! I thought I was crazy when mine didn’t reduce in 10 minutes. I did use a small pan (didn’t see note of yours at first). It’s wonderful.

  18. Mary Baker says:

    Hi – I know I’m a bit late to the conversation, but I have what seems on its face a silly question: I reduced some balsamic/honey a few weeks ago and it’s covered with plastic wrap but has not been refrigerated. I know both honey and balsamic vin last almost indefinitely separately, but does combining them reduce the shelf life if not refrigerated? I hate to throw it out, but I don’t want to poison anyone. Thanks so much!

  19. Dave says:

    To clean my stainless pans with burnt whatever in them I boil some water in them. While it boils I use a spatula to scrape the bottom. I have not have this fail yet.

  20. Renee says:

    This reduction doesn’t call for any sugar to be added. Has anyone tried adding brown sugar and how much.


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