10 Spices that Go with Balsamic Vinegar

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10 spices that go with balsamic vinegar

Do you have a dish that tastes a little too bland? There’s nothing like balsamic vinegar to liven it up, thanks to its sharp taste.

If you don’t find its faintly sweet and vinegary flavor enough by itself, though, you might be wondering about spices that go with balsamic vinegar, too. We’ve got a list below – keep reading to see which spices we picked and why.

1. Basil

Fresh basil on chopping board

Basil is a sophisticated food. Beneath its pepperiness, you may detect just whispers of anise that will help balance the tangy taste of balsamic vinegar.

If you’re looking for fresh basil instead of dried basil, you can reference our guide to where to find fresh basil in the grocery store.

2. Garlic


There’s nothing quite like garlic. Fresh or dried, it has a robust aroma and heat and breathes life into anything. Its heat will play on the balsamic vinegar’s sharpness.

3. Ginger

Ginger ground

Ginger is another particularly hot spice. Allow yourself to luxuriate in its flavor profile, however, and you’ll notice it has some bright citrusy highlights. This is what will work well with balsamic vinegar, which has its own fruity notes to mirror those in ginger.

Read Also: Where to Find Ginger in the Grocery Store

4. Lemon Zest

lemon zest

As we mentioned above, balsamic vinegar has its own faint hints of fruitiness. You can accentuate them with lemon zest, which is gratings from the rind of a lemon that contain all of the yellow fruit’s tartness.

5. Oregano

Oregano dried

Balsamic vinegar came from Italy, so why not go with a timeless Italian pairing by partnering it with oregano? It certainly helps that oregano has a slightly citrusy taste of its own that will brighten the fruitiness in the vinegar.

Related Article: What Does Balsamic Vinegar Taste Like?

6. Rosemary

Rosemary tied

We picked rosemary because it’s a common component in Italian seasoning. Many recipes combine Italian seasoning and balsamic vinegar. However, rosemary could work by itself simply because of the way its peppery and piney taste will heighten the sharpness of the balsamic vinegar.

7. Sage


In terms of flexibility, sage is an excellent choice. It has a slightly pine-like profile with shadows of citrus that brighten up the fruitier tones in balsamic vinegar.

8. Salt

Himalayan Pink Salt

Salt is a classic kitchen staple. It’s also probably one of the most versatile options on this list, as it can work as a sort of mirror for whichever ingredients it’s combined with. Alongside balsamic vinegar, you can expect a result with a deeply tangy taste and a bit of a bite.

9. Thyme

Thyme bundle

Due to its relation to mint, thyme has an invigorating taste that’s a bit like the freshness of mint without being quite as numbing. It’s perfect for mellowing out the tanginess in vinegar.

10. White Pepper

White pepper is scattered on a white background from glass bottle

White pepper may lack the complexity of black pepper, but its increased heat is ideal for drawing out balsamic vinegar’s tanginess. You can learn more about how it tastes in our post on what white pepper tastes like.

Spices that Go with Balsamic Vinegar