Homemade Mustard, Three Ways

These days, everyone seems to be making their own condiments from ketchup, mustard and mayo to horseradish and all sorts of relishes and aiolis. It is an interesting trend to say the least, but also a delicious one with endless potential. After all, good beef can make a great hamburger, but it can be the condiments that take it to the next level.

Let me back up a bit to fill everyone in on how I got to this place of condiment pondering. When I first met Lee, founder of Simple, Good, and Tasty, he told me that one of the most popular blog posts on the website for years has been a mustard recipe. Really!? Of all of the well written and informative content on the site, it was hard to swallow. I let it go for the moment, but then the following week I had some amazing handmade mustards created by local chefs. It was then that the nagging began. It started as a subtle feeling of shame. Here I am, mid 30's, having logged more hours in kitchens over the past 20 years than I can remember and not one single moment of condiment creation. This embarrassed state bubbled over into action when I looked at a jar of my favorite spicy mustard. 5 ingredients. That's it. Now it became a personal challenge. Surely I could take five ingredients and make mustard.

I began by making an agreement with myself that I would not look at any mustard recipe for help or guidance. I wanted this experiment to be just that. I wanted the opportunity learn by doing. I took the five ingredients (water, vinegar (white wine and plain old grain vinegar), mustard seeds, sugar and salt) and decided that my method of preparation would be mortar and pestle. After all, the jar did say stone ground. Next, I guessed at amounts and started off the experiment. The first thing I noticed right away was how incredibly fast and easy the process was. No more than ten minutes. As for the first result, well they were mixed. The batch made with white wine vinegar was quite sour and I rejected it right out. The batch made with grain vinegar was slightly bitter, but really not bad. I decided let it sit and "season" in the fridge for a day.

Mustard seed, salt, vinegar, sugar, water...that's it!Mustard seed, salt, vinegar, sugar, water...that's it!

Letting it rest worked wonders on the flavor.  Smooth, yet spicy and the "hully", bitter taste was gone. It was good mustard. The consistency became a bit too stiff, but otherwise, it was great. The next step was to invite someone else over to verify this mustard's status as palatable and possibly delicious. The tasting medium was a variety of pork sausages from the local meat market, followed up with dark beer. The mustard passed muster and started what may be an accoutrements obsession.  

Here is the recipe I settled on for now, with another one using some of that dark beer. Will these recipes be the next big thing for Simple, Good and Tasty? Doubtful, but they should be encouragement that it is never to late to try something and that sometimes all you have to do is start an experiment. I encourage anyone to improve upon these recipes or to share their favorite mustard recipes and experiences.


1/3 c brown mustard seeds

1/4 c white vinegar

2T water

1T sugar

1/4 t salt


Grind the seeds in a mortar and pestle (takes 3-7 minutes) or a spice grinder.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients.  

Refrigerate for about a day.

Makes 3/4 cup.

The mustard will seem really soupy when you mix it together, but don't fret, it will thicken considerably as it sits. You might even feel inclined to add more vinegar and water. Also, try making this same recipe with a nice dark beer substituted for some of the water.

The Postscript: A Blended Mustard.

As I was tasting and tasting and tasting again, my friend asked, "So what about Dijon mustard?" it got me thinking about a nice blended mustard for a contrast to the whole grain variety. The experiment continues. I decided to take my original recipe for starters and switch out yellow mustard seeds instead of the brown ones that make such a nice whole grain version. I also decided that these seeds would have to be soft and would probably need more liquid. I upped the vinegar and water and soaked the seeds. I used a food processor instead of the mortar and pestle. Here is what I came up with:


1/3 c yellow mustard seeds

1/3 c white vinegar

1/4 c water

Soak the above for a day or so

Then, blend like crazy with:

1 t sugar

1/4 t salt

Add more liquid as needed for blendability.


Postscript #2: Spicy Beer Mustard

At this point, it should be obvious that this has become an addiction. I think I talk about mustard everywhere I go, so naturally, everyone around me is weighing in. This past week, I must have heard at least three people ask me about adding beer to mustard. The arm twisting was minor, but it worked. As per my fidgety nature, it was impossible to use one of the above recipes. I decided to make my final (I promise) recipe by using mustard powder. It seemed like a good idea to whip something together that did not involve hand grinding or a machine. This is a simple whisk together (or shake like crazy) recipe.

1/4 c mustard powder

1/4 c dark beer (I used the locally brewed Brau Bros. Oatmeal Milk Stout...yum)

1 T grain vinegar

1 t sugar

1/4 t salt

The result of this experimental recipe was suprisingly good. As with the others, it is really soupy and a little bitter until you let it sit overnight. I really wanted to add more mustard powder, but resisted the temptation and the next day the consistency had thickened considerably. I sampled it with french fries and on a sandwhich with grilled chicken and spinach. No complaints here as this was by far the easiest and possibly the most delicious of the mustards I made.

Postscript #3: Comparing Recipes

I decided to look at the recipe on the Simple, Good, and Tasty website just to make sure none of these were an exact carbon copy. I'm pleased to say that they are all different, not just the ingredients, but the methodology. So, all you food lovers, try them all. Let me know what you think. I am not afraid of changing them or accepting advice on improvements. Here is the original Simple, Good, and Tasty mustard recipe receiving so much attention: Homemade Mustard Recipe


Happy eating!

Lawrence Black is a writer and editor at 
Simple, Good and Tasty.  He can be reached at