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I'm really digging the domestication that comes along with being a thirty-something. Homemade gifts once again are triumphing, and unlike the misshapen ceramic mugs that dominate this genre with youths, these gifts are actually desirable and inspiring. In fact, it was a friend's holiday gift of a cutely canned bottle of rye and brown sugar mustard that influenced me to try to develop my own recipe for this delicious mustard.
I've done so many mustards now—spicy brown, beer, whole grain, etc.—that I've come to a process I've found gives consistent results. This begins with soaking mustard seeds overnight in liquid, which tends to be mainly vinegar, but I subbed out about half the vinegar here with rye whiskey to fulfill the first defining portion of this mustard. The soft and bloated seeds are then given a whirl in a blender—where I added a hefty portion of brown sugar for this recipe—and out comes a mustard (which usually require a couple days rest to lose some of its initial bitterness).
Most of my past mustards have showcased the spicy bite that's more prominent in homemade versus storebought, and while that's still somewhat the case here, the brown sugar lessens the heat considerably and sweetens things up. The sweetness is cut by the rye, though, adding a dry character that's tasted mostly before the mustard's pungent and dominating flavor takes over. All-in-all, it's a pretty awesome mustard, and if it weren't for the return of homemade gifts, I may never have experienced it.
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About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.