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What Is Malt Vinegar?

What Is Malt Vinegar?

If you’ve ever been to England during the summer and enjoyed fish and chips near the ocean, you’ve probably heard of malt vinegar. 

A famous English condiment, malt vinegar, also known as alegar, is a mild and sweet type of vinegar made from ale. Curious to learn more about malt vinegar? 

Keep reading!

Malt vinegar is a type of grain-based vinegar made from fermented barley grains known as malt. Once the barley is malted into alcohol (beer) or, in other words, allowed to sprout, the resulting maltose is brewed into ale, which is further fermented to produce malt vinegar.

What does malt vinegar taste like?

Malt vinegar flavor can be best described as lemony, malty, and sweet at the same time. It has a milder taste than white vinegar. 

The taste is also often described as nutty and toasty. 

If you have ever had malted ale, a type of beer, you are probably familiar with its caramel-y taste. Malted vinegar has a similar taste to it, like malted ale, since both are made from malted barley grains.

Difference between malt vinegar and white vinegar

The primary difference between white vinegar and malt vinegar is that the former is purified vinegar made only with water and 5 to 8 percent of acetic acid. On the other hand, malt vinegar is a grain-based vinegar that is produced by malting barley. 

White vinegar is a bit more sour and aggressive than malt vinegar that is much milder and sweeter. 

However, white vinegar is tougher on stains and more acidic than malt vinegar. Because of this reason, it is used commonly for cleaning and disinfecting purposes.

What is malt vinegar used for?

There are several ways of using malt vinegar in your daily cooking. Since it is acidic and sweet, it pairs well with savory dishes and desserts to balance out the sweetness. It can be used to make salad dressings, chutneys, brines, marinades for meat and poultry, toppings, and sauces. 

Following are some recipe ideas for you that involve using malt vinegar:

1. Mixed bean salad: Using waxed beans, lima beans, kidney beans, and green beans, prepare an afternoon lunchtime salad. Top it with a malt vinegar dressing to make it enjoyable!

2. Coleslaw: Even though coleslaw is traditionally made with white vinegar, you can add malt vinegar instead for the perfect side dish for your burger or sandwich with a sweet kick!

3. Homemade garlic aioli sauce: Whip up some egg yolks with malt vinegar. Add olive oil and a dash of garlic powder to make aioli sauce that can be paired with beer-battered seafood or even French fries! 

4. Oven-baked potato wedges: Cut up some russet potatoes into wedges. Add olive oil, malt vinegar, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper. Spread the wedges on a slightly oiled baking tray and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes in a preheated oven.

Substitutes for malt vinegar

1. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is produced by fermenting apples. It has a mild fruity taste. It is the best substitute for malt vinegar. You can use it wherever malt vinegar is used in the same quantity.

2. Wine vinegar

Wine vinegar is produced by fermenting red or white wine in wooden barrels. Both red and white wine vinegars are gluten-free, so they can be consumed by gluten-sensitive individuals who cannot consume malt vinegar.

3. Lemon juice

Even though it’s not a type of vinegar, lemon juice has a sweet and sour taste and can be used in drinks, basked items, salads, dressings, sauces, or with steamed vegetables.

The bottom line

Malt vinegar is a lesser-known but surprisingly delicious alternative to other types of vinegar. Make it a part of your everyday meals, and enjoy the acquired malt vinegar flavor in your salads, desserts, sauces, and chutneys! Happy cooking!

Sea Salt And Malt Vinegar Chips

Sea Salt And Malt Vinegar Chips

Yield: 3 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Homemade potato chips made in the air fryer seasoned liberally with sea salt and malt vinegar!


  • 2 large white potatoes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 t malt vinegar


  1. Wash and dry potatoes.
  2. Slice thin, preferably with a mandolin slicer like this one.
  3. Soak slices in cold water for 25 minutes.
  4. Preheat the air dryer to 350°F.
  5. Dry the potatoes thoroughly.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil, malt vinegar and salt.
  7. Cook in the air fryer for 8 minutes.
  8. Flip the chips with tongs.
  9. Increase heat to 400°F.
  10. Cook for 3 minutes.
  11. Remove and enjoy.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 796mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g

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