DIY: Homemade Brown Mustard

Confession: I don’t like mustard.

Well, I didn’t think I liked mustard for years because I only tried the nasty yellow mustard that has no texture and is served at fast food restaurants and diners across the country.  Then I visited the National Mustard Museum and taste-tested about 15 different varieties.  Turns out that I actually like some of the coarsely ground, more natural mustards.  Who knew?

Anyway, last Christmas, Ben and I were looking for some projects to make that would be awesome for us to eat AND serve double duty as an item in the Christmas food baskets we make as gifts for family members.  I found a few recipes for mustard, tweaked them to fit what we had in our kitchen, and presto.  Tasty mustard.  So what I’m going to share isn’t exactly a recipe… it’s more of a tutorial.  My reasoning is that you can tweak pretty much anything in here and still come up with a delicious and more-than-passable mustard.  Ready?  Here we go.

To start with, you should know mustard has three main ingredients:

  1. mustard seeds
  2. vinegar
  3. alcohol

The different varieties come from adding different types of vinegar and alcohol, as well as different ratios of yellow and brown mustards.  We also add herbs to our mustard to give it a little extra zing.  What can I say?  We like-a the zing.

Anyway, here’s what we do.

First, we mix and soak the mustard seeds.  Yellow seeds are the mildest and brown is a bit more pungent.   So, you might want to use 2/3 cup yellow mustard and 1/3 cup brown mustard seeds but feel free to experiment and see what you prefer.  Mix them together in a jar (remember my mason jar post last week?  They work great for this).

Then you add liquid.  I use a mix of alcohol and vinegar.  We usually experiment with several different batches each time we make mustard, so we play around with different versions.  We have used red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and regular vinegar.  For alcohol – you can use beer, wine, or a non-flavored liquor like rum, vodka, whiskey, etc.  (Side note – I have seen recipes that call for water rather than alcohol so I think you could easily substitute that if you prefer no spirits.)  Basically, any combination you use will give your mustard a slightly different taste.  One combo that I particularly like is a cup of dark brown beer and 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar.  Or a cup of dry white wine like chardonnay with 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar.  But seriously, use whatever you have!

Pour your liquid over the mustard seeds, then let it sit.  At least for a day, but we’ve had better luck letting it sit for several days while it soaks up the liquid.  (This last batch sat for a week and it was great!)  Note: I HIGHLY recommend labeling your batch(es) with whatever you added to your recipe.  That way you can remember what you tried and note if you liked this combo.  This is especially helpful if you are making multiple batches at a time.  If all the liquid gets soaked up, add a smidge more so you can visibly see a little liquid over the top of the mustard seeds.

If you’d like to add herbs, now is a great time.  Ben loves to add cilantro to his mustard.  I like to add thyme or rosemary. Or both.


Once the seeds have soaked, it’s time to food process them.  Pull out your food processor, dump the whole mixture in, and blend.  Some people add honey, brown sugar, more herbs, maple syrup, etc.  Ben likes to add horseradish or garlic. Blend/process until it’s a creamy mixture.  It will still have some texture so don’t worry about it being completely smooth.  Put it in a jar and refrigerate.  This stuff stays good for an insanely long time.  Months.  In fact, this fall we were still eating the mustard we made last September when we finally ran out.  I’m guessing that the vinegar and alcohol does a pretty good job of preserving it though I’m not a food scientist and you should do your own research on this.

We whipped up a few batches tonight and had some with our burgers.  It was soooo good.  Maybe I do enjoy mustard a little bit after all.

You should be able to find mustard seeds at your local grocery store or food co-op.  Our local co-op carries them in bulk.  Hooray!  But the first time I made this, I ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs and they are a great resource for items you are not able to find locally.  Click HERE or on the Mountain Rose Herbs banner below and it will take you right to the site.  I purchased our brown and yellow mustard seeds there, as well as some bulk herbs and essential oils.  This is an affiliate link for a company that I have used and recommend.

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c
This post is linked at Frugally Sustainable, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, Ladybug Blessings, Simply Sugar & Gluten Free blogs.

December 16, 2013 - 6:21 pm

Ericka - This looks fantastic!! I seriously can’t wait to try these!!

December 23, 2013 - 12:08 am

Elizabeth - I just got VERY excited for Christmas 🙂

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