Myrtle liqueur

DUP liqueur de myrte

We have a myrtle bush (called hemblass) and I wanted to do something else besides eating the berries raw. Well my aunt told me that her 85-year young friend Milady makes ” a delicious” liqueur with these myrtle berries. I got on the phone to ask for her recipe and was relieved to find out that making it could not be simpler. Just clean the berries and soak them for a month or so in Vodka; when ready to taste, squeeze the berries to extract most of the liquid, mix with some sugar syrup or honey, and store in a bottle in the fridge. 

These berries come from a bush, and are native to the Mediterranean; however, I found out that in the US they are used as hedges and go by their latin name myrtus communis. Myrtles were famous in antiquity and Greek and Roman mythology; for Lebanese farmers, they are just plain healthy to eat and their leaves used in decoction help with many health conditions (bronchitis, diabetes, inflammations, etc)

dup myrtle berries

1. Clean the berries thoroughly and air-dry. Place in a bowl and add enough Vodka to barely cover. Close the container and keep in a cupboard away from sunlight for at least 30 days. You can let them macerate for months before tasting.  

2. Drain the berries and collect the liqueur; add honey or a sugar syrup if desired (the taste without it is bitter). If desired, add syrup or honey to the berries and serve alongside the liqueur. This liqueur is served as a digestive after a meal. Keep the bottle in the fridge. 

DUP liqueur of myrtle

 

NOTE: The syrup or honey is added as an option and to taste.

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7 Comments

  1. Posted February 11, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Hei Joumana, do you think I can do the same with blackberries? I don’t have those berries here.
    Lovely bottle!

  2. Posted February 12, 2014 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    This is so new to me! Love the pics too…

  3. Joumana
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    @Paula Mello: I think the principle is the same for all fruits, including lemon or orange peels.

  4. Sylva
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    I have a Myrtle tree in my backyard and is blooming nicely. I’m defiantly going to make this drink. Thank you Joumana.

  5. Gabi
    Posted February 12, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Some time ago I bought dried myrtle berries and leaves at an Italian store. They are good to spice up roast and gravy. Rather expensive, too so I looked for a myrtle at the florist’s and actually found one. But I’ve already nearly killed it by not watering enough :-(. If it survives and if it grows berries, then I will try your liqueur recipe.

  6. Posted February 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I have enjoyed every homemade liqueur I have ever made. Maybe I simply like liqueurs :) This looks beautiful. Sadly myrtle doesn’t survive our harsh winters.

  7. Posted February 18, 2014 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    In Sardinia they make a very popular liqueur called mirto, like the fruit. I never realized you could eat the berries!

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