Saturday, 6 June 2015

Recipe for 4 Thieves Vinegar

I haven’t had coffee all week, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I have to say, I think it actually helped settle my stomach. I didn’t go all out cold turkey however, as I still had a daily cup of tea, thus avoiding the headaches commonly associated with caffeine withdrawal.

But it is the weekend, the sun is shining and I’m feeling a little French, so a petit café (little coffee) is keeping me company as I type. Oh yes, it’s great to be good; but God it’s good to be bad.

To fulfil my yearning for a little piece of France this morning I have been looking at two of my major girl crushes online - Inès de la Fressange, who I discovered in the 1980’s, whilst she was Karl Lagerfield’s muse for Chanel. Now in her 50’s, still gorgeous with a seemingly effortless chic she has a newsletter - La Lettre d’Inès.

Inès de la Fressange from her newsletter

Inès de la Fressange

The other is the illustrator and style blogger Garance Dore. Here is a picture of Garance with newly cropped hair wearing a dress at Cannes 2015.

Garance Dore

I love Garance Dore’s stylish illustrations.

Illustration © Garance Dore

One of the products Inès mentions in her newsletter is Vinaigre des 4 Voleurs

The name intrigued me so I did a little research and discovered this herbal tincture supposedly kept alive 4 thieves who robbed graves during the Great Plague of Marseille in 1720. Legend has it that under threat of death they divulged their life-saving secret, which was a herbal infusion. 

There are several different recipes online, I have badly translated one below. 

It can be used as an antiseptic aftershave, to treat dandruff even taken diluted as a health tonic for all varieties of ailment from acid reflux to general sickness.

La fameuse recette du Vinaigre des 4 Voleurs  
The famous recipe for 4 Thieves Vinegar

Dans 1 litre de vinaigre de cidre mettez ces plantes séchées: 
Add these dried herbs to 1 litre of cider vinegar.

20 g de romarin (20g rosemary)
20 g de lavande (20g lavender)
20 g de sauge (20g sage)
20 g d’absinthe (20g artemisia absinthium - wormwood)
20 g de rue (20g common rue - ruta graveolens)
20 g de thym (20g thyme)
20 g de menthe (20g mint)
3 g de muscade en poudre (3g powdered nutmeg)
30 clous de girofles ou 3g de poudre de girofles (30 cloves)
3 g de cannelle en poudre (3g ground cinnamon)
3 gousses d’ail (3 garlic cloves)
5 g de camphre (5g camphor - Cinnamomum Camphora)

Vous laissez macérer pendant 10 à 15 jours, puis vous filtrez et vous mettez en bouteilles.  La conservation doit se faire au frais et à l’abri de la lumière.

Leave to macerate for 10 to 15 days then sieve into bottles and keep in a cool dark place out of direct sunlight. 

I might try it, although apparently it tastes and smells abhorrent! And I may attempt to plant up a 4 thieves herb bed at my new allotment.

Herb Garden at Pantry Garden Herbs


teawithonesugarplease said...

I can only imagine how foul this may taste but hey if it does what it says it's supposed too...what are you growing in your allotment?

Anonymous said...

Can you grow cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves?

westendmum said...

Dear teawithonesugarplease
I've mainly been growing grass and beans at the allotment, but it is officially mine now. And I was super luck to inherit artichokes, an apple and cherry tree (super tiny ones), a fig and loads of borage. I have lots of plans and have half dug out a tree root. Today I was thinking it might be rather lovely to grow scented and cutting flowers. A peonies and rose bed with sweetness and foxgloves. It's very exciting. And a wonderful escape with a flask of tea!
Dear Anonymous
I don't think I can grow cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves but I do have a greenhouse so never say never.

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