Herb Basics: Tonic Wines, And More

Tonic wines are a fun and unusual way to enjoy many different herbs, plus they’re simple to make. Learn more about them, plus other herb basics.


| September/October 2000



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A Look at Tonic Wines

Tonic wines are a fun, unusual way to enjoy many different herbs—and they’re simple to make. However, some of the medicinal benefits are lost in the fermenting process, so you shouldn’t use wines exclusively if you take herbs for specific medicinal purposes.

To make a tonic wine, you’ll need three ounces of dried herb leaves or two teaspoons of a powdered root, and one liter of red wine. Place the herbs into a vat or a ceramic jar, and add the wine. Let the mixture sit in a cool place for at least two weeks.

Strain off the herbs and drink a small glass before dinner. Herbal wines made with dried roots such as ginseng are especially effective.

Or, try a combination of herbs, such as a bitters formula for digestion. These formulas often include gentian (Gentiana lutea), ginger (Zingiber officinale), and orange peel.

Store in a cool, dark place (or in the refrigerator) for up to four months. Check for mold before drinking, and if any forms, throw the wine away.


Introduction to Culinary Herbs

Learning to add culinary herbs to your meals not only boosts the dishes’ flavors, but also their medicinal qualities. Many cooks like to add fresh herbs toward the end of a dish’s cooking time to retain the color of the herbs. Here’s a guide to help you get started.

jonh
7/29/2016 4:00:27 AM

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