Distillers Blog
Ency. Botanica | 06 Jun. 2016

Cloves - Syzygium aromaticum

The Monkey in the punch pot

Cloves - Syzygium aromaticum

Cloves are the dried buds of the clove tree, which belongs to the Myrtaceae family. With a height of up to ten meters, this evergreen tree is native to the Molucca Islands (a group of islands in Indonesia also known as the Spice Islands), but today it can be found across the globe. The buds, which resemble small nails, are known for their strong aroma and equally strong flavor. Though cloves are only used sporadically in these parts (we tend to associate the taste with Christmas punch and gingerbread), in India, China and the Orient, they are common kitchen spices. The handpicked buds turn brown when dried and have a strong aromatic scent, a slightly sweet taste, and produce a pleasant burning sensation on the tongue. The spice has an established role in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, and anyone who has ever put Syzygium aromaticum on an aching tooth will know the wonders this little bud can work. The active substance here is eugenol, which inhibits the growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses and also has a slightly numbing, anti-inflammatory effect.
If you believe the lore, Montgomery Collins – forefather of Monkey 47 – swore by the clove’s healing powers and carried a small sack with him at all times.

Some quick and easy tricks for determining the quality and freshness of cloves: Gently pressing the stem should release a bit of oil, and in general, cloves should have an oily sheen. You can also try the so-called “swim test:” High quality cloves will sit upright in water, while cloves of lesser quality will float horizontally on the water’s surface. With its effects on various bodily processes and the health benefits of regular consumption, the clove is quite the Jack of all trades. In this spirit – Cheers!

Einspaltig Ency. Botanica | 04 Apr. 2017

Elderberry - Sambucus

The subtle scent of the elder

The elderflower, a member of the Adoxaceae family, is perhaps best known in the form of the black elderberry. While people in northern Germany call it the...

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Ency. Botanica | 08 Aug. 2016

Allspice - Pimenta Dioica

A plant from the New World

Allspice - Pimenta Dioica

Allspice refers to the berries of the evergreen pimenta dioica tree, a type of plant of the myrtle family, and is native to a group of islands in the Caribbean called the Antilles. This explains why allspice is also commonly called "Jamaica pepper". Discovered by the same explorer who...

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Ency. Botanica | 25 Jul. 2016

Honey Pomelo - Pomelo

The tangy citrus fruit and the Monkey

Honey Pomelo - Pomelo

If you’re looking for the perfect mix of sweet and bitter, keep reading. A cross between the pomelo and the grapefruit, the honey pomelo combines both distinctive flavors. Though native to Asia, it first entered the market in Israel in the 70s as the result of a backcross, which is also how it...

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Ency. Botanica | 04 Jul. 2016

English Hawthorn - Crataegus laevigata

English Hawthorn - Crataegus laevigata

The thorny, deciduous bushes known as English hawthorns are a pomaceous fruit that prefers a temperate climate. At home among forests and chaparral, this member of the rose family is also found in our European regions, where it can grow up to several meters high and live as long as 500 years....

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Ency. Botanica | 09 May. 2016

Blackberry - Rubus fructicosus

A basket full of joy

Blackberry - Rubus fructicosus

The humble blackberry comes into its own as the subject of a lovely old German folk song, which we’ve made a feeble attempt at translating here:
“A basketful, what’s the use?
A hand will surely do;
In my father’s garden,
Yes, the blackberry garden,
There’s enough...

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Ency. Botanica | 25 Apr. 2016

Orange - Citrus Sinensis

The Monkey kisses the orange

Orange - Citrus Sinensis

The orange, or the apple from China as the German term “Apfelsine” suggests, is a member of the citrus genus. A cross between the mandarin and the pomelo, this orange-colored fruit originated in China or Southeast Asia and found its way to Europe in the 15th century (where it was initially...

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Ency. Botanica | 04 Apr. 2016

Licorice Glycyrrhiza

The sweet-talking Monkey

Licorice Glycyrrhiza

Licorice root, or “sweet wood” (Süßholz) as it is called in German, is known not only for its medicinal properties, but also for its sweetness. In fact the German term for sweet-talking (Süßholz raspeln) translates literally as grating licorice root. While he was working on perfecting his unique...

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Ency. Botanica | 29 Feb. 2016

True Sage - Salvia Officinalis

A true panacea for Monkeys

True Sage - Salvia Officinalis

Also known as garden sage, kitchen sage or common sage, this evergreen herb with medicinal properties is a subshrub of the genus Salvia and can reach a height of up to 80 centimeters. The strong, aromatic odor is characteristic of all parts of the plant, which are covered in wooly hairs that are...

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Ency. Botanica | 21 Dec. 2015

Acacia Flowers - Acacia verticillata

Natural Soul Kitchen

Acacia Flowers - Acacia verticillata

Acacias, which belong to the legume family of plants and comprise some 1,300 species, are found in the subtropical regions of South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. They should not be confused with false acacias, which belong to the Robinia genus. Their yellow buds blossom between April and...

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Ency. Botanica | 23 Nov. 2015

Ginger - Zingiber Officinale

The Monkey and his magic root

Ginger - Zingiber Officinale

A member of the ginger family, root ginger is a monocotyledonous plant whose rootstock, or “rhizome”, is used as both a spice and a type of medicine. Indigenous to the tropics and subtropics, zingiber officinale is cultivated in countries such as Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Japan and China and,...

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