4 Thieves Vinegar How To or I prefer call it Part 2
If you didn’t read the beginning part of this series you can find it here go, I’ll wait.
Alright so we’re all on the same page, 4 dudes did some awesome shit a couple of hundred years ago or were it almost a millennium ago.
So, these thieves give up this recipe and the How To’s on using it. Some say it was used as a cleaning agent, others add it was to be consumed and even give dosages on how to do that. Remember this because we’re coming back to it in Part 3.
We’re told the recipe the 4 Thieves gave up consists of Vinegar, Garlic, and a slew of herbs. Back to the legend for a bit, some say each thief brought one herb to the party, or to the vinegar base. That would mean the recipe must consist of Vinegar and Garlic -the base, and FOUR (4) herbs. When you start looking at recipes there’s a long list, some recipes say use it all, others say pick 4.
If we’re sticking with the lore revolving around the Thieves, we’re going to use four ingredients, otherwise, we really aren’t making a 4 (FOUR) Thieves vinegar, right? Let me take a step back in time for a second, there are some stories that don’t tell us how many herbs each thief brought to the vinegar pot, we could have had Dude 1 bring three and Dude 2 bring one, and Dude 3 brings four, and Dude 4 bring god only knows, totaling eight or more herbs, we really don’t know and the stories really don’t give us exacts. We aren’t told Dude 1 brought Rosemary, Sage, and Lavender while Dude 2 brought blah blah blah. We’re just told, “These dudes made this shit and it’s the bomb!”
It’s up to you to decide what story you like and then make your judgments on what is really a Four Thieves Vinegar, or now what is a Four Thieves Oil.
The base is made of Vinegar and Garlic that sounds simple enough, but each recipe gives us a different vinegar. Some say Red Wine Vinegar others say White Wine Vinegar. Some recipes from early last century I mean 1920s-ish say use Apple Cider Vinegar because it’s cheaper (how times have changed)! As you can see, we aren’t given a specific vinegar. Hell, I’ve tried it with Rice Vinegar it’s not my favorite and I won’t do it again, but it has worked.
It’s looking like a game of telephone, doesn’t it? Little shifts and changes as time goes on and the recipe is touched by more and different hands, each person making a little tweak before handing it down to the next in their lineage. Hmmmmmm, remember this it’s important to Part 3.
Okay, so we are given three different vinegar bases we can use. It’s extremely important to add Garlic to this vinegar. Like shit loads of it. Although I have seen a recipe call 1 tablespoon only, I guess she doesn’t like Garlic. Thankfully we aren’t told this Garlic or that one is better. Elephant garlic to standard garlic, blah blah. Although, I have heard chopped garlic, sliced garlic, crushed garlic, or whole non-peeled is better than peeled. It’s said if you don’t prepare the Garlic the way that creator says it won’t work. Holy Fuck! My head hurts already, and we haven’t even gotten to the list of herbs or the creation.
Let’s get to the herbs because I might not make it to the end of this series!
As I mentioned above some recipes say pick four, others say to use them ALL! Within the list of herbs, we have: Rosemary, Sage, Lavender, Bay Leaves, Dill, Pine Needles, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Peppermint or Mint, Black Peppercorns, Cayenne Pepper, Coriander, Chili Peppers, Rue, Thyme, Wormwood.
I just counted 16 different herbs. But
The Farmer’s Almanac even gets in one the Four Thieves Vinegar and gives Clove, Sage, Juniper Berries, Thyme, Cinnamon, Rosemary, and Garlic in White Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider.
If we take the few different herbs given by the Almanac (I got to say when I was growing up this was the book to get EVERY DAMN YEAR! I’m disappointed with your recipe guys.) we have Clove, Juniper Berries, and Cinnamon that are different from the long list of 16, so we could have 19 different herb options.
Sweet God in Heaven what the actual fuck!
I’m done with the herbs and vinegars. I’m moving along, I hope you’re ready because it only continues.
You’ve got your ingredients now what are you going to do with them.
Well, some say put it all together in a huge glass jar and let it do its thing. Leave it TF alone and let them chill. Another recipe says crush all the herbs and garlic, you’re going to need enough to fill your jar for this recipe, then pour enough vinegar in to fill the jar. Keep watching it daily because as the plant life breaks down, you’re going to keep filling the jar with vinegar. Yet, another recipe says to use a cup of each, pour in the vinegar filling your jar then leave it.
How long should you leave it to do its thing? Anywhere from a week to a full lunar cycle (28ish days, some people say 29 days is a full lunar cycle), or for a full 30 days. Which one is it? Seems like there is no real recipe huh.
But wait, that’s not all! I have seen recipes that call for boiling! Yes, Dear God in the Skies these peeps want you to boil vinegar. Put all your herbs and garlic and anywhere from 2-8 cups of vinegar in a saucepot and boil that sucker.
Stay away from the vapors unless part of the vinegar’s healing you are hoping for is hacking up a lung or two!
Sigh* What’s a peep to do? The recipes are all so goddamned confusing. I’ll just go and buy a bottle. Let someone else deal with that shit. If that’s your thought come back for Part 3
Photo Credit: Stock Image