[Sca-cooks] Making vinegar?

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Sat Nov 14 13:26:19 PST 2009

Sounds like a challenge to me--

There's an Elder Vinegar recipe in Martha Washington's Booke of  
Cookery on pages 168-169.

There's also this recipe found via medieval cookery.com:
To torne Wyne to Vyneagyr or Ale to Aleger or syder to Aysell. Take a  
pott and fyll hit Full of wyne Asell or gode Ale And stoppe well the  
mowth that no thyng cum yn nor owte And do hit in A vessell full of  
water and set the vessell on the fyre And let the pot of wyne boyle in  
the same A long while tyll hit be turnyd.

This is an excerpt from Gentyll manly Cokere (MS Pepys 1047)
(England, ca. 1500)
The original source can be found at James L. Matterer's website


If you need to make provision for vinegar, empty the barrel of your  
old vinegar, then wash it thoroughly with very good vinegar and not  
with water either hot or cold: then, put the washings in a wooden or  
clay vessel, not copper or iron, and here let these slops rest and  
settle: then pour off the clear vinegar, and put it back in the  
barrel, and fill with more good vinegar, and put it in the sun and the  
heat, and at night and in damp weather cover it up: and when the sun  
comes out again, uncover it again.

This is an excerpt from Le Menagier de Paris (France, 1393 - Janet  
Hinson, trans.) The original source can be found at David Friedman's  


There's this book in EEBO-TCP.

Charas, Moyse, 1619-1698. The royal pharmacopœea, galenical and  
chymical according to the practice of the most eminent and learned  
physitians of France : and publish'd with their several approbations.   

Chapter X is “Of Vinegars” and features descriptions and recipes.

This one should be part of ECCO; earlier editions in EEBO.

The way to get wealth, or, A new and easie way to make twenty three  
sorts of wine, equal to that of France : with their vertues. Also to  
make cyder, mead, rum, rack, brandy and cordial waters : pickles,  
vinegar and the mystery of vintners. Also divers physical receipts to  
help a bad memory ... : to which is added, A help to discourse ... By  
Thomas Lupton and Thomas Tryon 3rd ed. 1710?

  There are two modern titles in English that turn up:

  Marie Nadine Antol. The incredible secrets of vinegar : the  
quintessential guide to the history, lore, varieties, and healthful  
benefits of vinegar / Garden City Park, NY : Avery Pub. Group, 1999.  
ISBN: 1583330054 9781583330050.  Also listed as 2000

  Renata Salvarani. The land of balsamic vinegar : the great vinegars  
of Modena and Reggio Emilia: history, landscapes and traditions /  
Milan : Giorgio Mondadori, 2002 ; ISBN: 8837417853 9788837417857

Hope this helps


On Nov 14, 2009, at 2:17 AM, Robert Dunn wrote:

> Glad to see I'm not alone in my madness of vinegar making!
> There are a lot of sources for vinegar making from the 1700-1800  
> period, but prior to that I haven't had much luck with primary  
> sources.

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