How is balsamic glaze different from balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic glaze is also called a "balsamic reduction." It’s essentially just a reduction of balsamic vinegar. You can add sweeteners like honey or sugar. The balsamic vinegar is simmered in a saucepan until it has reduced and thickened to a maple syrup consistency. 

Balsamic glaze

Choosing the Best Balsamic Vinegar for a Simple Balsamic Glaze or Balsamic Reduction

Making balsamic glazes and balsamic reductions at home is easy. Remember to use a good quality balsamic vinegar when making your reduction. Since your balsamic glaze is going to have a strong, rich flavor, I highly recommend going for the good stuff—choose one without any dyes or other unusual additives.

Step 1: When picking the right balsamic vinegar, look for the grape must!

The first ingredient should be grape must, which is a concentrated mixture of grapes. Then you may see wine or wine vinegar listed. If there are extra, unfamiliar ingredients or additives, it is not a true balsamic vinegar.

Step 2: Look for a balsamic vinegar that doesn’t have additives.

Make sure to look at the label when you’re choosing your balsamic vinegar. If it lists caramel coloring as an ingredient, you’ve got an inexpensive vinegar that has had coloring added to give it a darker color. 

Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic Glaze

What can you put balsamic glaze on?

This glaze is perfect for drizzling on green salads, crostini, or a nice caprese sandwich like my Cast-Iron Roasted Caprese Sandwich. You can also try it on my Roasted Wild Mushroom Crostini Recipe with Easy Garlic Basil Ricotta Spread

How to store homemade balsamic glaze (and how long does a balsamic reduction last, anyway?)

I like to store my homemade balsamic reduction in a small glass jar. If you don’t use it all the day it’s made, you can refrigerate it and keep it for up to one month. If you find it becomes too thick in the fridge, just pop the glass jar in the microwave and warm it up in 10-second increments until it gets back to a drizzling consistency.

Yield: Makes ½ cup
Mary’s Simple Balsamic Glaze Recipe (AKA Balsamic Reduction)

Mary’s Simple Balsamic Glaze Recipe (AKA Balsamic Reduction)


  • 2 cups good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar, optional, but I love a little extra sweetness!


  1. In a small, heavy pot, heat the balsamic vinegar with the honey or agave nectar (if using).
  2. Bring the mixture to a low, gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. You can stir the mixture occasionally, but it doesn’t need a lot of tending. Just keep a watchful eye on it so you don’t over-reduce the mixture. When you have about a half cup of the mixture left, you have your balsamic glaze!
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool completely before using.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @blameitonbiscotti on instagram and hashtag it # balsamicglaze
May 27, 2023 — Mary DiSomma