I was gifted some Aged Balsamic dressing last Christmas.
It was utterly delicious and sweet and kind of syrupy and nothing like the stuff I usually buy at Aldi or Coles.
I've used it all up a while back and investigated buying some more.
Well...it was $35, thankyou very much, so no-go there! And that was for 200mls!
I've come up with a way to make a similar tasting product that will do very nicely though.
For 250mls of 'aged' Balsamic Vinegar, you need:
500mls cheap Balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup port
You also need:
A medium saucepan
A pretty bottle into which to decant the dressing
I had some port in the cupboard dating back to my honeymoon nearly 14 years ago...it was probably a shame to use it! 14 year old port fetches a good price at the bottle shop!
You can use inexpensive port. They're available for around the $10 mark, and will yield lots of batches of this mixture.
I made a smaller batch first to get the proportions right, so maybe try a third of all these amounts first to make sure you're happy with the finished product.
Put it all into the saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Then turn it down to a low simmer, and reduce the liquid by about 1/3-1/2. The more you reduce it, the thicker and more syrupy it will be. This takes about 15-30 minutes. And again, it's worth experimenting.
Make sure you watch over it and stir it from time to time.
I like mine thick, but still runny enough to pour from it's bottle. So about 15-20 minutes for a big batch is right for me.
Allow it to cool before pouring it into your bottle.
Hang a tag around the neck and maybe add a few recipe ideas on how to use it, and you've got a convincingly gourmet gift.
You can also add jam instead of the sugar, and then you're only limited by your imagination as far as flavours go! Imagine Orange or Lime scented sticky balsamic, or Raspberry or Plum scented sticky balsamic or even maple syrup scented sticky balsamic :)