My daughter (the greenhouse girl) has a garden and it’s full of cucumbers, among other things. So my youngest son (duck herder person) and she are making pickles. They have experimented with balsamic pickles with great success (they are delicious).
Here are the cucumbers in the jar ready for the brine.
First a little word about balsamic vinegars. True balsamic vinegar is “an aromatic, aged type of vinegar manufactured in Modena, Italy from the concentrated juice of white grapes”. The best, finest balsamic vinegars are aged for years in successive casks made from different kinds of wood. Initially, balsamic vinegar was available only to the upper classes in Italy.
Balsamic vinegar that we buy in the grocery store today are made from red wine vinegar or concentrated grape juice “mixed with a strong vinegar and laced with caramel and sugar”. It has a high acid level but because it’s so sweet, it comes off as being mellow.
(Casks of balsamic vinegar
The ratio of 1:1 balsamic vinegar and distilled water
One cup of balsamic vinegar to one cup of distilled or filtered water.
1 tsp of kosher or pickling salt in each jar
We did the cold pack method. Wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water and rinse well with hot water. Boil jars and lids in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the boiling water and cool. Scrub cucumbers and slice in wedges the long way. We peeled some of the cukes also. Stuff wedges in the jars. Fill jars with brine of 1 part balsamic vinegar to 1 part distilled or filtered water. 1 teaspoon of salt per pint of pickles. Cover with lids and screw caps tightly. Let cool.
(We didn’t do any other spices as the balsamic vinegar has a lot of flavor to begin with.)
Place jars in the refrigerator. Let the pickles stay in the jars for a few weeks before eating. These can be kept in the refrigerator for a few months.
Since this is so simple, whenever you get 4 or 5 cucumbers you can make pickles and enjoy these all year. You can also make cold pack pickles with white vinegar and add garlic and dill.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I wasn’t able to find an acidic level on balsamic vinegar and therefore would not want to use this vinegar for hot pack canning. The acetic acid level in canning vinegars needs to be at least 4.5 % in order for it to kill any harmful bacteria. But using the cold pack method skirts around that by keeping all jars in the refrigerator and using them up within a few months.
These pickles have a darker color (obviously since the vinegar is dark).
Happy pickling, everyone!!
I’m sorry I didn’t get pictures of the finished jars filled with the balsamic vinegar. Perhaps I can add them at some point.
Have a great weekend, people!!
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