Method

Fill half a 5- or 6-pail barrel with any kind of berries that are handy, except wild strawberries or lingonberries. Add 3 pails boiling water and set aside for 2 weeks. Drive in the bung very gently and shake up the barrel several times a day [during this fortnight]. Spread honey on lbs rye bread (without the crust). Toss the bread and honey into the barrel along with 1 handful each white peas and oak chips,* a piece of cotton cloth the size of a glass, a sheet of white writing paper spread with honey, 5 glasses honey, and 3 shtofs sparkling wine. Cover the bunghole with a cloth and seal it. Decant the vinegar when it is ready, then pour on 3 more pails river water with the same quantity of honey and wine as indicated above. Mix the second batch of decanted vinegar with the first, because the first will be more aromatic. This vinegar may be constantly renewed in this manner. The berries may be discarded when they lose their flavor and strength, but the mother that has formed will always yield good vinegar.

*Vinegar aged in oak barrels has a more complex flavor than our modern commercially produced vinegars. Since this vinegar is decanted rather soon, the addition of the oak chips presumably compensated for the flavor which the vinegar otherwise would have acquired by longer aging in the barrel.

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