Herbal Wine and Liqueur

With endless possibilities for added medicinal benefits Herbal Wines and Liqueurs are something we should consider adding to our herbal pharmacies

Chamomile Flower Wine:

Makes about 1 quart
Serve chamomile flower wine in your favorite wine glass and couple it with a tasty herbal meal

  • 1 liter dry white wine
  • 1 cup dried chamomile flowers
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1½ ounces light rum (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons honey (or to taste)
  1. Pour wine into a clean glass jar or bottle. Add chamomile, orange zest and rum. Cover and steep for 1 week.
  2. Strain through a coffee filter, add honey to taste and pour it into a clean container. Seal and store for up to 1 year.  Leah A. Zeldes~ The Herb Companion

Herbal wines date back thousands of years. Egyptian wine jars have been found with residues of herbs and resins. It makes sense, as we now know that alcohol breaks down the medicinal constituents of plants, making it more bio-available to the body. That’s why we make alcohol extracts as herbal tinctures to deliver botanical chemicals to our body. The famous 12th century German mystic, Hildegard of Bingen, recommended herbal wines such as lungwort wine for emphysema, honey-parsley wine for heart pain, and unsweetened lavender wine for congested liver. Click More To Continue Reading

Bitters  infused in alcohol have been used in Europe for several hundred years. They usually contain bitter herbs that help with digestion by stimulating bile juices. Bitters have also been traditioanlly added to beer for the same reason.  Angostura Bitters are a famous member of this category and are well-used in hundres of cocktails for a splash of complexity, and to this day only 5 people in the world know the well-kept secret of the herbs used in this special recipe. Though this mexture was hoped to help soldiers in WWI suffering from severe fevers and digestive disorders, it now serves to enliven many of our most special happy hour drinks today. Bitters are usually made with alcohols other than wines, but it might be fun to experiment with bitter herbs when making a more medicinal wine.

There are lots of super tastey concoctions that can be made in your own kitchen. I often make herbal simple syrups to add to gin or vodka drinks for something herbaceous, but it’s really fun to go directly to the source and create an alcoholic beverage that is lively and compex all on its own! This is why going the herbal wine route is worthwhile. Most people can afford a decent white or red wine to start with.

Making Herbal Wines

1. Place Herbs in a bottle (1 oz herbs to 1 pint wine)
2. Pour wine over herbs to fill the bottle (generally a ‘sweeter’ wine w/ about 12% alcohol)
3. Cap tightly and shake well
4. Store in a cool, dark place
5. Shake well every day for 2 weeks
6. Strain herbs.
7. Add sugar or honey to taste (optional), particularly for liqueurs
8. Some liqueurs need maturation time, in which case you might wait a month or more.
NOTE: herbal wines should last about a year. Herbal liqueurs may last longer. this excerpt from lilithsapothecary

Edible Flowers Suitable for Winemaking

Angelica flowers, Anise hyssop flowers, Apple blossoms, Apricot petals
Arugula flowers, Basil flowers, Bean blossoms, Bee balm petals, Bergamots, Borage blossoms, Camellias, Carnations, Chamomile flowers, Charlocks, Cherry blossoms, Chervil flowers, Cinnamon rose petals, Clary flowers
Clovers, Coltsfoots, Columbines, Common milkweed, Common thistle, Dahlias
Daisies, Dandelion petals, Day flowers, Daylilies, Dill flowers,Dog violets, Elderberry flowers, English daisy petals, English primroses, Evening primroses, Fennel flowers, Field garlic flowers, Gardenia blossoms,Garden sorrel flowers, Garlic flowers, Geraniums, Ginger petals, Hawthorn flowers
Hibiscus flowers, Hollyhocks, Honeysuckles, Huisache flowers, Hyssops, Lavender flowers, Leek flowers, Lemon blossoms, Lemon verbenas, Lilacs,
Lilac oxalis, Lily buds, Lily of the valley, Lime blossoms, Linden flowers, Lovage flowers, Magnolia petals, Mallow blossoms, Marigolds, Meadowsweets, Pansies, Passion flowers, Pea blossoms, Peach blossoms, Pear blossoms
Peonies, Pineapple sage flowers, Pink sorrels, Plum blossoms,  Primroses,
Pumpkin blossoms, Queen Anne’s lace, Red clover, Rhubarb flowers
Rose petals, Rosemary flowers, Safflowers, Sage blossoms, Salmonberry petals
Savory flowers, Snapdragons, Sorrels, Southern magnolia petals, Strawberry flowers, Sunflower buds, Sunflower petals, Sweet coltsfoots, Sweet pepper flowers, Sweet violets, Sweet Williams, Sweet woodruff, Tangerine blossoms
Tansies, Thyme flowers, Tiger lily buds, Tree peonies, Trout lilies, Tulip petals
Vervains, Violas, Violets, Water hyacinths, Water lily petals, Water lotus petals, Wax gourd blossoms, Western columbine, Western redbuds, White alders, White clover, White trumpet lilies, Wild columbines, Wild plum blossoms, Wild raspberry petals, Wild rose petals, Wood sorrels,Wooly thistles, Yarrow flowers, Yellow sorrels, Yucca blossoms.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Janett Kolkemeyer
    Mar 03, 2012 @ 17:19:00

    “I am extremely free-range but…” has become a very common expression around here.


  2. dogging club
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 16:19:01

    Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.


    • karonv
      Mar 08, 2012 @ 22:45:56

      I know, although I’m not sure why the pictures have dropped off. I’ve replaced them a few times and still the same thing is happening?


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