Vermouth Mustard, Coarse and Fine

Photos by Michael Piazza / Styled by Catrine Kelty

With this one recipe, you can make two different styles of mustard—one smooth and one coarse—and they’ll end up with subtle but surprising flavor differences. The coarser, grainier style is both sweet and hot, but has a note of bitterness from the lingering seed kernels, making it a nice foil for the fattiness of a toasted ham and cheese or hot pastrami sandwich. But passing that same mustard through a very fine sieve to make it creamy and “Dijon- style” intensifies the heat and removes that bitterness, making it a wonderful addition to salad dressings, marinades and is especially great on garlicky sausages and hot dogs.

Make this recipe either coarse or fine, or split it in half and make both!

¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
¼ cup brown mustard seeds
½ cup white vermouth
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons sea salt
cold water

Combine the mustard seeds in a bowl and add the vermouth and vinegar and ¼ cup cold water. Cover and let sit overnight on the counter.

By morning, the seeds will have absorbed all the liquid. Transfer to a blender (not a food processor) and add the honey and salt. Blend, adding a dribble or two of cold water as needed to keep the motor running, scraping down the sides periodically, until the mustard is the texture you like.

Transfer to a jar and refrigerate overnight before using—the flavors need to develop, so be sure to wait!

If you want a smoother mustard, too, take half of what you just made and pass it through a very fine sieve using a rubber spatula, scraping the smooth mustard from the bottom of the sieve as you go, until all that is left inside are the broken seed kernels. Don’t throw them away, though: mix them back into your coarser mustard for some added bulk. Mustard lasts just about forever in the fridge, but if you’re an avid user like I am, you’ll be ready to make more in a month or so.

This story appeared in the Summer 2016 issue.