Pickled onions are a Christmas favourite, and aside from the arduous peeling of pickling onions, are the easiest gift to give away. You can wrap up a jar with the recipients favourite cheese and have a really special present on your hands.

Balsamic Pickled Onions

These are different, because the honey and balsamic vinegar give these onions a sort of sweetness that balance out the pickling spices to give a nice mellow flavour. Don’t mistake though – these will still pack a punch with your strongest Cornish cruncher, so go easy on the mustard seeds!

Leave these to mature for around a month before gifting.


  • 900g pickling onions (or small onions) peeled
  • 50g salt
  • 850ml malt vinegar
  • 300ml balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp pickling spices (make your own using coriander seeds, mustard seeds, black peppercorns and chilli flakes)


  1. Put the peeled onions into a bowl, add the salt over the top and cover with water. Leave for around 24 hours.
  2. Put the cinnamon stick and spices into a piece of muslin and tie it up.
  3. In a large saucepan, add the spice bag and malt vinegar, bringing it to the boil, then remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 12 hours.
  4. After 12 hours, add the balsamic vinegar and honey, giving it a good stir.
  5. Drain the onions from their salt water bath and put them into sterilised jars.
  6. Pour over your vinegar mix to cover the onions and securely the lids tightly.
  7. The onions will need to be stored for at least two weeks before eating.

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