For this purpose take none but the finest and largest oysters. After they are opened, separate them from their liquor, and put them into a bucket or a large pan, and pour boiling water upon them to take out the slime. Stir them about in it, and then take them out, and rinse them well in cold water. Then put them into a large kettle with fresh water, barely enough to cover them, (mixing with it a table-spoonful of salt to every hundred oysters,) and give them a boil up, just sufficient to plump them. Take them out, spread them on large dishes or on a clean table, and cover them with a cloth. Take the liquor of the oysters, and with every pint of it mix a quart of the best vinegar, a table-spoonful of salt, a table-spoonful of whole cloves, the same of whole black pepper, and a tea-spoonful of whole mace. Put the liquid over the fire in a kettle, and when it boils throw in the oysters, and let them remain in it five minutes. Then take the whole off the fire, stir it up well, and let it stand to get quite cold. Afterwards (if you have a large quantity) put it into a keg, which must first be well scalded, (a new keg is best,) and fill it as full as it can hold. Do not put a weight on the oysters to keep them down in the liquor, as it will crush them to pieces if the keg should be moved or conveyed to a distance. If you have not enough to fill a keg, put them into stone jars when they are perfectly cold, and cover them securely.
For pickling oysters and all other purposes use only the best cider vinegar. The sharp pungent vinegar made entirely of chemical substances will destroy the oysters, and is too unwholesome for any culinary purpose. No one should purchase it. It may be known by its excessive sharpness; being violently pungent without any pleasant flavour.