Lemon Verbena, Dates, Calamansi Lime & Blood Orange Tea
Nothing warms the heart like a trip or in my case walk to the local Farmer’s Market. I brought back several goodies this week that I think I can turn into beer.
After much sniffing and tasting, I settled on Lemon Verbena leaves, Calamansi limes, Khadrawy dates and blood orange tea.
Lemon Verbena is the main ingredient in the Peruvian soda Inka Cola. It has a lemony, bubble gum like taste.
Calamansi limes are my new favorite citrus. They taste like limes, tangerines, and kumquats all rolled into one. You can even eat the peel which is very thin and not bitter. I’ve been buying these at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market for the last few weeks. Heavenly!
The vendor who sold me the dates said they were the best for fermentation. They are very soft and not overly sweet.
I also used a splash of blood orange tea for a hint of spice and a bit more sweet citrus finish.
I only made about 40 ounces or so, since it’s a bold experiment and who wants 6 bottles of nasty tasting carbonated beverages lying around if I fail. Here is the final bottle ready for fermentation and covered up to hide it from the light. We’ll check back in couple of weeks. At the moment it’s bubbling away nicely.
4 grams Lemon Verbena leaves divided into 2
3 pitted dates
1 pitted date
4 Calamansi Limes halved
1 teaspoon blood orange tea
A cup of brown sugar
Yeast: one-third of a package of Safale T-58 (Or whatever you have.)
Bring 48 ounces of spring water to a boil then reduce to low setting.
Add brown sugar, 3 grams of crushed lemon verbena leaves, 3 pitted dates, and 2 halved Calamansi Limes (Squeeze the juice into the water.)
15 minutes later add one more halved Calamansi Lime.
15 minutes later add 1 pitted date.
15 minutes later add 1 gram of crushed lemon verbena leaves and 1 halved calamansi lime.
5 minutes later turn off the burner and add the tea.
Cool off the mixture in an ice bath to 70ish degrees. (While brewing, prepare your funnel, fermentation jug, airlock and stopper by thoroughly washing them. Soak them in sanitizer for at least 20 seconds. No need to rinse.)
Pour the mixture into the fermentation jug using a funnel with strainer or coffee filter.
Press the stopper into the bottle (Make sure you have also washed and sanitized your hands.)
Pour vodka into the airlock up to the maximum marker, cap and press it into the stopper.
Wrap your bottle with a dark towel and store it in a cool place for a couple of weeks.
Stay tuned for next steps…