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Autumn Elixirs: Aperitifs that Heal

Autumn Elixirs: Aperitifs that Heal

Now is the perfect time to harvest and preserve your summer herbs, roots and fruits. It’s also the perfect time to snuggle in and enjoy a tasty (and healthy!) aperitif by the fire.

Put two & two together and you have these autumn elixirs! These recipes extract the healing power of common garden staples and bring them into a delicious drink that you can sip solo or add to a juice, perrier, etc.

Here are the basics of making elixirs (spoiler alert - they’re SUPER easy!)

  • Fresh plant material is best but dried is ok too.
  • The menstruums (aka the extractors) we're suggesting are mostly alcohols; vodka, brandy,  sherry etc.
  • For alcohol-free elixirs, use vegetable glycerine or a combo of glycerine and apple cider vinegar (glycerine will give a more complete extract than vinegar). 
  • When using dried plant material add twice as much menstruum.
  • The aromatic carminative herbs you'll be working with are delicious and give the added benefit of aiding the digestive and respiratory systems; win, win, win!

Common carminative herbs: Anise, cardamon, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, ginger, lemon balm, lemon verbena, all the mints, licorice root and fresh sweet cicely seeds.
Adding fresh fruits of the season to your elixirs will add flavour, color and nutritive value.
Good Fruits to Try: Blueberries, Blackberries, Oranges, Figs, Rosehips, Kumquats, Gooseberry, Lindenberry, Haskap
Simple Step-by-Step

  1. Chop or blend fresh herbs, fruits and berries together.
  2. Place them in a wide mouthed glass jar. Cover with 2 to 3 times as much vodka, brandy, *wine or **glycerine.
  3. Shake well especially with Glycerine, it helps to really coat the herbs.
  4. Cover the jar and store at room temperature out of direct light for 2 - 4 weeks, shaking twice daily.
  5. Strain well, squeezing out as much liquid as possible and bottle.

*Wine - Traditional choices are Sherry, Port, Madeira and Teneriffe. The higher the alcohol content, the more stable they'll be. Treat these elixirs like you would a bottle of wine ie; keep them bottled and well corked until drinking.
**Glycerites - Glycerites can be taken by the spoonful or added to juices, teas and nut milks. They make a great addition to smoothies. 
Our Favourite After Dinner Elixir
Just in time for the holiday meals we have in our future! This elixir is the perfect thing to cap off a big, delicious (possibly over-indulgent) meal. 

Equal Parts: 
Cardomon pods
Ginger root
Mint leaves 
Fresh Gooseberries, Kumquat and Figs
Brandy, Glycerine or other alcohol choice

  1. Chop or blend herbs and fruit 
  2. Follow the simple step-by-step above

Power House Immune & Energy Elixir
Don’t let cold & flu season get you down this year. Enjoy this elixir when you’re feeling depleted or low energy. 
Equal Parts:
Astragalus Root
Angelica Root
Ginger root
Licorice Root
Elderberries, Rosehips, Haskap, Blackberries
Brandy, Glycerine or other alcohol choice

  1. Grate, chop or grind roots, add to mashed berries
  2. Follow the simple step-by-step above

Night Cap Calming Elixir
This elixir will calm the nervous system and encourage restful sleep. Cap off your night with this sweet treat. 

Equal Parts:
Passion flower
Lemon Balm
Vanilla Bean
Oranges, Blueberries
Brandy, Glycerine or other alcohol choice
*Glycerite formula is a great addition to warm oat milk before bed.

  1. Chop or blend herbs and fruit 
  2. Follow the simple step-by-step above
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