I thought since we are dealing with a continual need to disinfect things this might be useful if not intriguing!!

This is a lovely herbal disinfectant but can also be used as a flavoured vinegar and with the addition of oil – turned into a delicious dressing.

I have supplied two versions – one made with fresh herbs and one with dried. The fresh herb recipe takes only a week or so to mature whereas the dried herb one can take up to 4 weeks before being useful.

There is a story about four thieves who made an herbal vinegar during the great plague in France.  The vinegar was such a strong disinfectant that the thieves could rob the dead without fear of getting ill and dying themselves.  They became very rich, but were eventually caught and given a merciful death in return for the recipe. 

Although it is no longer used for the original purpose, it is an excellent disinfectant to use around the house – as well as being safe to eat! (The original recipe also contained a lot of herbs with well-known anti-flea and anti-microbial properties!!)

For the dried herb version

You will need:

1 tsp whole cloves

1 small piece of cinnamon

2 tsp dried rosemary

2 tsp dried peppermint

4 tsp dried sage

2 tsp dried lavender flowers

1 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp dried garlic flakes

½ tsp black peppercorns

500ml apple cider vinegar

What to do:

Warm the vinegar gently – do not boil. Place all ingredients into a glass jar and pour over the warm vinegar.

Seal well and leave on a sunny windowsill for 3 – 4 weeks. Shake every now and then to mix.

Thereafter, strain, and use as a spray on surfaces, door knobs, hands etc. or use as an edible flavoured vinegar.

For the fresh herb version

You will need:

2 tablespoons fresh lavender

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons fresh mint

2 tablespoons fresh sage

2 tablespoons fresh thyme

2 tablespoons fresh marjoram

2 tablespoons fresh anise hyssop(optional)

4 cloves of garlic

½ teaspoon black peppercorns

3 whole cloves

500 ml apple cider vinegar

What to do:

Chop all the fresh herbs and crush the peppercorns, garlic and cloves.

Place all ingredients into a large glass jar, pour over the vinegar and seal. Leave to infuse for 7-10 days on a sunny windowsill.

Thereafter, strain and use as a spray on surfaces, door knobs, hands etc. or use as an edible flavoured vinegar.

To turn this into a Classy Vinaigrette:

Take 1part Vinegar with 1part good Olive oil and mix with ½ part prepared mustard. Blend well. Then add a bit more crushed fresh garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Shake very well to blend.

Set aside for a while to infuse and let the flavours develop. Shake well before use.