Gourmet condiments are all the rage these days, including specialty mustards. Did you know it’s super easy to make your own delicious mustard at home? It makes an ideal hostess or holiday gift; you could put together a festive and sure-to-be-appreciated edible gift package that includes homemade mustard, roasted sweet-salty nuts, cranberry-balsamic chutney and salted honey bark. You can make this mustard with any liquor you like – bourbon or scotch would be great – but to keep it proudly Canadian, I like the combination of rye and maple syrup. If you would prefer to use less alcohol (although it does get cooked off), substitute 1/4 cup of apple cider for 1/4 cup of the rye whisky. I recommend packaging the mustard in small jars so they retain their flavour.
Combine mustard seeds, boiling water and 1/2 cup of the whisky in a bowl. Cover and let stand for 2 – 12 hours until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Transfer soaked seeds and any remaining liquid to a medium sized saucepan. Add remaining 1/4 cup whisky, cider vinegar, mustard powder, maple syrup and salt.
Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring mustard to a boil; continue to boil until it is starting to thicken, about 3 minutes. Taste and add a tiny bit more vinegar and/or salt if needed to suit your preferences. Note that the mustard will thicken further when it cools.
In the saucepan, puree mixture slightly with a stick blender (leaving some seeds intact for that grainy texture) OR transfer to a blender or food processor and puree slightly.
Fill four clean 125 ml (1/2 cup) jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a wooden skewer or the handle of a small spoon around the edges and middle of the jars to eliminate any air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jars with a damp paper towel then affix the lids.
For short term storage, mustard can be refrigerated for up to 6 months. For longer term, shelf-stable storage (up to one year), process jars in a boiling water bath.
Once opened, even with refrigeration, the jars of mustard will maintain their peak flavour for about a month, after which point they will start to fade in intensity (but they will still be safe to eat for up to six months from opening).
Makes 2 cups.