How to Make Vinegar By Fermenting Scotch With Prosciutto

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“Vinegar is easy—it nearly happens without any work at all,” Cleveland chef Jonathon Sawyer writes in House of Vinegar.

This is one of his most unusual recipes, created from fermenting single-malt Scotch with prosciutto scraps.

Drizzle over fresh arugula or add a couple of drops to finish a creamy tomato soup.

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Degree of Difficulty: Moderate

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 3 to 6 weeks


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Prep time

20 min.

  • 8 oz prosciutto
  • 1 quart cold water
  • 1 cup best-quality single-malt Scotch
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine prosciutto and water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and discard prosciutto. Place stock, uncovered, in refrigerator to cool.
Once cooled, stock will have a solid layer of fat on top. Remove fat and discard it.
In a large bowl, combine stock and Scotch, stirring to mix. Evenly divide mixture among 1-quart glass containers. Cover with cheesecloth, securing it with a rubber band, to keep out debris.
Place containers in a cool, dry, dark place. After 3 to 6 weeks, taste: it should be sharp, tangy, and sour. Or test by using pH strips—shoot for a reading of 4 or below on the pH scale.