Wine-vinegar: - Let any quantity of vinous liquor be mixed with its own lees or feces, or with the acid and austere stalks of the vegetable from which wine was prepared. The whole must be fre quently stirred, and either exposed to the sun, or deposited in a warm place : after standing a few days, it will ferment, become sour; and, in a fortnight, it will be converted into vinegar. - Such is the usual manner of producing this acid; which is frequently rectified by distillation, when it is known under the name of distilled vinegar.
Cyder-vinegar, may be made by fermenting new cyder with the must of apples, in a warm room, or in the open air, where it should be exposed to the sun; and, in the course of a week or nine days, it will be fit for use.
Another method of preparing vinegar, is that published by M. Heber : it consists in exposing a mixture of 72 parts of water, and 4 of rectified malt-spirit, in a temperature of from 70 to 80° of Fahrenheit, for about two months ; at the expiration of which the acetous process will be completed. - A cheaper, though more tedious mode, is that of dissolving 2 lbs. of molasses in 9 quarts of boiling water : this solution must be poured into a vessel containing a large quantity of cowslips; and, when the mixture becomes cool, a gill of yeast should be added. The who'e is then to be exposed to the rays of the sun : at the end of 3 months, it may be bottled for use, and will be of peculiar service in pickling.
Tarragon-vinegar is manufactured, by infusing one pound of the leaves of that vegetable (which have been gathered a short time before it flowers) in one gallon of the best vinegar, for the space of 14 days; when it should be strained through a flannel bag; and a dram of isinglass, dissolved in cyder, must then be added; the whole be carefully mixed, and decanted into bottles for a month. Thus, the liquor will acquire a most exquisite flavour; it will become remarkably fine, and almost colourless.
The utility of vinegar, as a condiment for preserving and seasoning both animal and vegetable food, renders it unnecessary to state the Various articles in which it may be used with advantage : we shall, therefore, only add, that it affords an agreeable beverage, when combined with water, in the proportion of a table-spoonful of the former, to half a pint of the latter. Farther, it is a medicine of considerable efficacy in hydrophobia, as well as in inflammatory, and putrid diseases, whether taken internally, or applied externally to the nostrils, or by way of fomentations. Relief has, likewise, been frequently obtained in hypochondriacal, and hysteric affections, in vomiting, fainting, and hiccough, by the application of vinegar to the mouth. If this fluid be poured into vessels, and placed over the gentle heat of a lamp, in the apartments of the sick, it greatly contributes to disperse foul or mephitic vapours, and consequently to purify the air. - Lastly, there is a method of procuring a very powerful essence of vinegar ; which, however, can be practised only during the intense frosts of winter : it simply consists in exposing this liquor in basons, or other shallow vessels, when the watery parts are converted into ice ; but the spirituous, or acetous basis, remains in a fluid state ; so that, by repeated exposure, one- pint of strong vinegar will, in very cold seasons, be reduced to about a table-spoonful of the essence. This preparation possesses a fine flavour, and a pungent, almost corrosive taste ; taste : hence it forms an excellent spire or sauce to fish in general, but particularly to lobsters and oysters.