Take five gallons of soft, clear water, two quarts of whisky, two quarts of the best West India molasses, and half a pint of the best fresh yeast. Lay a sheet of white foolscap paper at the bottom of a very clean keg, and pour in the mixture. Place it in the sun the first warm weather at the close of May, or beginning of June. In six weeks it will be fit for use. Put in the bung loosely, and do not stop it tight till the fermentation is over. If you make it in winter, keep it in a place where there is a stove or furnace.
Much of the vinegar that is offered for sale is excessively and disagreeably sharp; overpowering the taste of every thing with which it is combined. This vinegar is deleterious in its effects, and should never be used; it is made entirely of drugs. Oysters and pickled vegetables have been entirely destroyed or eaten up by it in a few hours, so that nothing was left but a whitish liquid. To avoid all risk from the unwholesome vinegar offered for sale, families would do well to make their own. A keg of hard cider kept in a warm kitchen in winter, and exposed to the hot sun in summer, will become excellent vinegar.
Mix together a gallon of West India molasses, and four gallons of lukewarm water. Pour it into a clean five-gallon cask, and place it in the chimney-corner; standing the cask on end, and leaving the bung out. To give it, occasionally, some additional heat, set the cask in the mouth of the oven on baking-days, after the bread is drawn, and let it remain while the oven continues warm. In three months it will be excellent and wholesome vinegar, at a very trifling cost, - only that of the gallon of molasses. When the liquid is sufficiently acid, stop the bung-hole closely, and remove the cask to a cool place. In summer, you may make this vinegar by letting the cask stand three or four months exposed to the hot sun; taking care to cover the bung-hole in damp or rainy weather.