here's an experiment I've done to try how could be the taste of a liqueur with one of my favourites infused drinks: the mate. In the next step I'll explain why this name for this drink.
I can say that it tastes very good, and surely it will be appreciated from the ones who loves the taste of mate and yerba mate derivatives!
I've never done a liqueur, and it's entirely homemade... that's why I'll enter the "Homebrew" and the "Beyond the Comfort Zone" contests; it has been fun to try something new to do, relaxing and rewarding... it has been a successful experiment... vote it for the contests if you think the same, thank you!
Step 1: Why This Name and a Bit of History
Yerba Mate is a native plant of South America.
Being rich in vitamins and minerals the Indians call it "super grass" or "green gold", and the derivative drink, mate, is called "friendship drink", as strong social connector to the custom of being drunk in company.
This tradition continues even today in the countries of South America.
That's why I decided to call this my experiment "friendship liqueur"!
It is also known to be the favorite drink of Che Guevara, who was taking to fight his ailments caused by asthma.
I could call the drink as "liquor of Che Guevara", but I did not want to use a name of a person who may have never drunk a similar liquor and then... the feeling of friendship has always been considered, at any time, a positive feeling for the social life of the people, without any major criticism or controversy, and I would like to not limit the number of people who could appreciate this liquor only for his name!
Yerba Mate has numerous properties: cools, tones and stimulates.
From the latest scientific sources it was discovered that this drink is able to eradicate many cancerous responsible of colon tumor cells, is very rich in antioxidants and is typically taken in place of coffee being very energizing and, unlike coffee, it is almost free of side effects.
It contains a substance similar to caffeine, "mateina", which causes a feeling of relaxation and well-being without alteration of nervous disorders. It is also able, after a stressful non-working day, to recuperate energy, has digestive effects, is a stimulant for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular and is very useful in slimming diets because it causes a strong sense of satiety.
...And now, let's make the Friendship Liqueur!
Step 2: Ingredients
Here there are ingredients for 500ml of liqueur circa.
What we need is:
- 350ml of water;
- 150ml of alcool 96%;
- 5 spoons of yerba mate;
- 5 spoons of brown sugar;
You'll probably find all the ingredients in a supermarket; perhaps the only thing that you can not find in a supermarket could be the yerba mate, but it can be purchased in fair trade markets or online.
Step 3: Prepare a Sugar Water
- First of all, put the water and all the brown sugar in a pan
- Put the pot on the stove
- Turn the water with a spoon to dissolve the sugar completely, like in the picture.
When the water boils turn off the stove and wait a bit (15 minutes more or less) to let the temperature go down.
Step 4: Add the Mate
- Add the mate to the sugar water
- Continue turning the water and mate with a spoon for 2-3 minutes
- Leave the mate settle on the bottom: it takes 10 minutes to be a perfect infused drink, due to the quantity of mate used.
Usually, it's used less mate per quantity of water (and less sugar too!), but we've prepared this concentrate drink because it will taste better as a liqueur in short drink.
Step 5: Filter the Brew
Separate the mate from the water through a sieve.
Do this step more than one time, you'll notice that the yerba mate leaves a powder in the bottom of the water; it's useful to use a gauze or blotting paper for a better filtering; so, leave settle if necessary, for some other minutes, until it reach room temperature more or less... how long depends on the season when you're!
Step 6: Add Alcool And... Drink Responsibly!
At the end, put the alcool in the filtered brew and mix; it's possible that some powder could still be there, so take care to remove it eventually!
Put in a freezer...how long as you want!
Like lots of liqueurs, it tastes better when frozen, but choice is up to you; you can see what is my preference (and yes, I tasted a short drink before taking the photo...)!
An Italian dictum says: "Who does not drink with friends is a thief or a spy"
(Italian: "Chi non beve in compagnia, è un ladro o una spia").
Drink it with friends, drink in short drinks, and... drink responsibly!
It's a shame to lose the pleasure of drinking beverages mate taste!