Vinegar is a compound that is basically acetic acid in water. Oxidizing ethanol produces acetic acid, which has the chemical formula CH3CO2H. It has an official name of ethanoic acid.
Acetic acid is considered a weak acid chemically, but highly concentrated acetic acid can be corrosive enough to damage skin. Vinegar that is used in kitchens normally has 5 percent acetic acid, with the rest mainly water. It is usually colorless. When another component is added, it takes the source's color. For example, addition of caramel makes it brown. Traditional ways are used to ferment alcoholic drinks for making vinegar for domestic use. Commercially, vinegar is commonly used for flavoring and preserving food products.