2 pints vinegar, into which you put the following:
One garlic bulb, peeled, cloved and crushed (there is debate as to whether or not the original recipe called for this, but because of it's antibiotic & immune sytem boosting properties, it has been added)
2 tbsp each of thyme, rosemary, lavender, rosemary (the four thieves, also herbs known for their strong antibacterial)
Leave this covered with a cloth in the sun or in a warm place or 24-36 hours, strain, and bottle (the longer you leave it, the stronger. Also you can leave the herbs for 2 days, strain, and put in fresh herbs. Or, leave sealed in a cool dark place for a week before straining.
The Italians, not to be outdone, have their own version, with more herbs (and many old recipes from France also have more herbs), the idea being, the more ''thieves'' the stronger the vinegar. These additional herbs included (to be added in 1/2 the amount each of the herbs above):
Asafoetida, Gentian root, Juniper berries*, Rue*, Angelica, Meadowsweet, Melissa (lemon balm)*, Wormwood*, Sage, Cloves*, Elecampagne, Marjoram, Horehound, Camphor (non synthetic), Mint*, Nutmeg, Calamus, Cinnamon and Hyssop.
The herbs that are starred are ones that appear most commonly in recipes aside from the original four. I am not surprised that cloves are in there, as the oil of cloves not only smells good, but is also great at killing or fighting viruses. If you can stand the sting, dab a little on your cold sores and they'll clear up doubly-quick. Wormwood is used to make absinthe, and I'm not sure why it's in there as technically speaking, it's kindof poisonous, Rue, Juniper, Mint, Marjoram and Melissa I'm assuming are in there to try and make the vinagar smell better. Trust me, they don't do much, but you're welcome to try!
When bottling, you can use any sort of bottle you like obviously, but I really like the old corked ones! I found the ones in this photo at World Market, on sale for $.60 each! I do suggest dipping the ENTIRE cork in melted beeswax to create a thin coating before putting the cork in your bottle or the vinegar and moisture with disintegrate your cork. As the wax hardens it will seal the bottle a little, and it's always fun to pour a little more wax over the top and put something in it, like a coin, or a dried herb leaf or flower.