Malt Vinegar

Malt Vinegar

Malt Vinegar
© Denzil Green


Malt vinegar is very popular in England and Canada. It is the best vinegar to put on fish & chips, and on chips in general (to American readers: that's chips as in French fries.) Americans don't generally put vinegar at all on their French fries/chips.

It is made from malted barley and grain that is mashed, then fermented, often in beech or birch barrels (or in any event, in casks containing pieces or shavings of those woods.)

Malt Vinegar is too assertive for mild vinaigrettes and sauces, but it is good for more robust applications such as marinades and chutneys.

You can buy regular Malt Vinegar, which is brown, and distilled Malt Vinegar, which is clear. Some finer Malt Vinegars are now being brewed from single malt ales, for aficionados.

Cooking Tips

Good for pickling, though, like cider vinegar, Malt Vinegar can darken light-coloured fruits & veg (unless you use distilled Malt Vinegar, which is clear).


If an English recipe calls for vinegar without specifying which type, it's generally Malt Vinegar which is meant.