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An eighteenth century ketchup for ship captains from the iconic Hannah Glasse.

Mrs. Glasse wrote the bestselling book on any subject during the century, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. The work is all the more remarkable because, as Priscilla Bain and Jennifer Stead have noted, the mother of eleven completed it during a period of only four months. While the ketchup was intended for storage at sea before the era of refrigeration (“You may carry it to the Indies,” claims Mrs. Glasse; it will “keep twenty years.”) this beer and mushroom based sauce is a good condiment in its own right too. About a pint of ketchup ; measurements by weight.


  • 8 oz “strong stale beer”
  • 1 oz anchovies, anchovy paste or anchovy essence ( see the Notes)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced or jarred ginger
  • 4 oz sliced mushrooms
  • a big minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons blades of mace ( see the Notes)
  • heaped ½ teaspoon whole peppercorns

Drop everything into a heavy pot, bring it to a boil, “[c]over all this close and let it simmer till it is half wasted, then strain it through a flannel bag” or coffee filter nested in a mesh strainer.


-Blades of mace are available online from Penzey’s. If you have none use about ½ teaspoon ground mace.

-George Watkins survives as a seller of anchovy essence.

-The original version requires a gallon of beer; the amount of ingredients has been reduced in rough proportion.

-When Mrs. Glasse says beer she means ale; choose a fairly alcoholic one.