How to make… Wholegrain Mustard

Wholegrain Mustard, ready to bottle
Wholegrain Mustard, ready to bottle

I love mustard, and get through jars of the stuff as it forms an essential component in my ham sandwiches I take daily to work.  Wholegrain has always been my favourite, for no other reason that it’s really versatile.  Not too hot, not too mild, not too yellow, nice texture, great in sauces.  Although I have a number of other jars in the kitchen cupboard, it’s rare that they get used and end up going in the bin once they’ve discoloured and lost their kick.

A couple of weeks ago I had one of those light-bulb moments – why don’t I make my own? I really don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before.  It’s not difficult and you can tailor the recipe to your own tastes.  I experimented with 3 combinations, and in addition to the ‘normal’ wholegrain mustard, I produced:

One thong to note: The longer the seeds have to soak, the hotter the mustard seems to be.  Taste the seeds after 1 day and you won’t be impressed. Leave them for another couple of days and the heat starts to kick in.  I’m told that if you leave them for over a week, it becomes quite dangerous.  Be warned…

You can use your own liquids and add herbs and spices to get different effects.  Experiment away and let me know how you get on!

Makes enough for one small jar


  • 2 tbsp Yellow (white) Mustard Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 100ml White Wine or Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar


  • In a small (non metallic) container, jar or glass tumbler, add the mustard seeds and cover with the vinegar
  • Leave to stand for 3 days – do not refrigerate.  To prevent the kitchen from smelling of vinegar, cover with cling film
  • Check periodically – the seeds will swell as they absorb the liquid.  Add additional liquid to prevent drying out,  It doesn’t matter if you add too much
  • After 3 days, drain of the surplus liquid and reserve
  • User a hand blender, food processor or pestle & mortar to grind the seeds into a paste.  Add the salt, sugar and continue to blend.  Add a little extra of the liquid to get a mustard with a good consistency
  • Bottle into sterilized jars and if possible leave to mature for a few days before using.  It should keep for several months and doesn’t need refrigerating


  • You can replace the vinegar with red or white wine, beer or stout.  However when blending, add at least a teaspoon of vinegar to the mix as this is needed to bring out the heat of the mustard.  NB: In my experient, Beer provided a much milder mustard that on made with wine or vinegar
  • Replace the granulated sugar with brown sugar or honey.  Beer & Honey mostard is a classic combination!
  • Salt & sweeteners should be added to your personal taste
  • Add freshly chopped herbs, garlic, horseradish or ground sweet spices such as cloves, cinnamon, allspice or cardamom.  These will take a little while to contribute to the flavour of the mustard.  If you use fresh herbs or spices, this will cut down on the shelf life of the mustard.  Store in the fridge once made.

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