Nowadays we take balsamic vinegar as a salad dressing option for granted, but as recently as the 1970s the elixir was unknown to anyone who didn’t make their own in Italy. With the influence of renowned cook Marcella Hazan, Chuck Williams, founder of Williams-Sonoma, was the first American to sell balsamic vinegar in 1977, and demand for the liquid soon surpassed available supply. You can read more about the history of and variations in balsamic vinegar on Serious Eats.

There are now stores dedicated to vinegars and olive oils popping up all over the country. With so many delicious varieties, these flavored vinegars are worth using as more than just salad dressings or finishing drizzles. Next time you’re looking for a way to make your dinner more exciting try this balsamic reduction.

You can use all one type of balsamic vinegar or mix it up as in the recipe below. You might not need to add sweetener, so make sure you taste your mixture as it reduces. Drizzle the finished product over mozzarella, add it to an ice cream sundae or use it to coat chicken breast.

Balsamic Reduction

  • Prep Time:1 minute
  • Cook Time:10 minutes
  • Total Time:11 minutes
  • Servings:4-6
  • Easy


  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup flavored balsamic vinegar
  • Sweetener (agave, honey, maple syrup)
  • Step 1

    Mix vinegars together and pour into a nonstick pan over medium-high heat.

    Photo by Sarah Strong
  • Step 2

    Bring vinegar to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and let the liquid simmer, stirring occasionally. Add sweetener to taste.

    Photo by Sarah Strong
  • Step 3

    Once the liquid has reduced by at least half and sticks to the back of a spoon it’s ready. If you want your reduction to have a more syrupy texture let it reduce for longer.

    Photo by Sarah Strong