I love balsamic vinegar. I use it on everything: salad, soup, fish, you name it! One of the magical things about balsamic vinegar is that you can open up more culinary opportunities with it by simply removing some of the water. Pizza with vinegar drizzled on top doesn’t sound very appetizing, but if it’s a balsamic reduction the texture is syrupy and delicious, rather than wet. When you reduce balsamic vinegar, the flavor is intensified and sweetened, so a little goes a long way. To start off, you want to begin with a good quality balsamic vinegar. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be a good quality. I bought mine from Trader Joe’s. (Can we take a moment to agree that we all love Trader Joe’s?) This bottle of balsamic vinegar was just around $5 and it’s comparable to more expensive options. Start off with one cup of vinegar. You’ll get about 1/4 cup of reduction, but unless you’re planning on feeding an army, this should be plenty. It’ll keep for about two weeks in the fridge, so you can do more if you think you’ll use it, but I’m starting off with one cup. Add your vinegar to a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat. Now, this takes a bit of patience. My vinegar took 20-30 minutes to reduce, so it’s a slow process, but all good things take time, right? It’s okay to step away and go about doing other things around the house. Just make sure you give it a little stir every few minutes. Go ahead and turn on a fan, because it’s going to get stinky. You might singe your noise hairs a little bit, but hang in there. You’ll be alright. After about 15-20 minutes or so of stirring every few minutes, you’ll want to pay closer attention. The vinegar may seem like it isn’t doing anything at first, but when it starts thickening, it does it quickly and you don’t want to burn it. Stir it a bit more frequently after the liquid has reduced some and you’ll soon notice the texture of the liquid looks a bit more like honey than vinegar. When it starts coating the back of your spoon a bit and is syrupy looking, it’s time to turn off the heat. I tried to take a photo of this for an example, but it turned out blurry. Sorry. :( Your balsamic reduction will continue to thicken as it cools. You can see here my one cup of vinegar turned into 1/4 cup of reduction. The flavor is much more intense, so you only need a small drizzle for anything you put it on. Use it for Caprese, drizzled on homemade pizza, or strawberry ice cream. (Trust me on this one.) I couldn’t wait to try mine, so I just drizzled a bit over sliced tomatoes. How will you use yours?