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8. Hyssop Antibiotic Properties & Herbal Liqueur

Hyssop tea has some antibiotic properties extracted from the leaves it is produced from, so drinking it could be a sure way to reduce speed and avoid the growth of harmful bacteria within the body. The flavonoids included in it as well have numerous antibiotic properties, which make it necessary to help with internal infections within the body, such as throat and nasal infections. 

Herbal Liqueurs are very popular, and there are many famous examples often made by Monks, and often made to age old recipes with tens, if not hundreds, of ingredients. Chartreuse and Benedictine are both Monastic liqueurs. A number of herbal liqueurs were first created for medicinal use!

Hyssop Herbal Liqueur

Think of this bright herbal liqueur as the transatlantic cousin of the traditional Alpine drink, genepi.

This recipe does not make a true génépi, because it uses artemisia absinthium instead of the species of native artemisia used to make traditional genepi. (Those species are rare even in the region where the liqueur is made.)

Serve this liqueur chilled and neat or over ice or mixed with a good dry vermouth.

Make Ahead: The herb-infused vodka needs to sit overnight. The dried herbs and spices need to infuse the strained herb vodka for 1 to 4 days. The herbal liqueur can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 weeks.

Where to Buy: We found some of the less-common dried herbs, such as the wormwood, lemon balm, hyssop, mace blades (coarsely chopped instead of ground mace) and angelica, at Bazaar Spices in Union Market; they can also be ordered online.

SERVINGS:   9   18   36   54   

Tested size: 18 servings; makes 4 1/4 cups

  • 1/2 cup fresh arugula leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • One 750-milliliter bottle 100-proof vodka
  • 1 tablespoon dried wormwood (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon dried lemon balm (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon dried hyssop (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon mace blades (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon dried angelica (see headnote)
  • 1 cup simple syrup (1:1, see NOTE

Combine the arugula, basil, mint and tarragon in a large glass jar; pour in the vodka and allow to infuse overnight, then remove the herbs and discard.

Combine the wormwood, lemon balm, hyssop, mace blades and angelica in a tea infuser or nut-milk bag; add to the infused vodka to steep for 1 to 4 days, tasting daily to check the flavor.

Once the vodka is infused to your liking, discard the sachet of herbs, then add the simple syrup, stirring to incorporate. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 weeks. Shake or strain before using.

NOTE: To make the simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a slow, rolling boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof container and cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate until chilled through; store indefinitely.

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