Pineappleweed/Chamomile Liqueur

Pineappleweed is kind of a pain to harvest. It grows sparsely and low to the ground in sunny, trampled marginal soil; its favorite spots seem to be gravel driveways. It’s common enough, but still requires persistence and a lot of stooping to gather in significant quantities. I’d been planning to just skip it this year until I realized that it’s the perfect flavor complement to rowanberry and I wanted more liqueur.

So I walked two miles along the bike trail today and came out with about half a cup:
Granted, it’s still on the early side of the season; I did walk by a few patches that hadn’t flowered yet. Still. This scanty harvest was enough to drive a gal to cheat & buy some chamomile at the store. (Chamomile is pineappleweed’s European cousin; while I prefer pineappleweed’s eponymous pineapple-y flavor, it’s similar enough to chamomile that you can substitute one for the other without a problem. Both plants are also traditionally used as general calming tonics for digestive ailments & colds.)

.8oz bulk organic chamomile blossoms + today’s harvest of pineappleweed blossoms + vodka + 2/3 cup sugar:

I also stopped by lemon balm alley, where absolutely zero persistence is required to harvest huge gobs of lemon balm. As soon as I replenish my vodka supply (I’m still getting used to this whole privatized liquor sales thing, but I hear that Costco vodka is the only thing that’s cheaper than before) I’ll do a liqueur from that. And there’s a bunch drying for tea. And… I dunno what else, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

Update: Lemon balm pesto pizza with fresh tomato and zucchini. Tasted like summer. There’s enough pesto left over to slather on a piece of salmon tonight.

Trackbacks & Pings

  1. Herbal Toddy on 17 Feb 2013 at 12:00 am

    […] 3/4 oz pineappleweed or chamomile liqueur […]


  1. erica wrote:

    This one looks good. It inspired me to go the pantry and try two incredibly ill-considered experiments from this past summer–vodka flavored with an Artemisia, and vodka flavored with yucca. Both were remarkably terrible, each in its own way. Methinks they might be better as some sort of medicine at this point, ha ha.

  2. Maria wrote:

    Artemisia? Wow, yeah, I can imagine how that one might fail. Even based on my limited experience making juniper extracts… I think there’s probably a big advantage to being able to leave some of the heavier terpenoids behind in the distillation tails for gin or absinthe.

    Which part of the yucca did you use? I’ve only ever eaten the root.

  3. erica wrote:

    Flowers. Yucca glauca. I eat them all the time but they taste just like the vodka–like a vegetable:)

  4. erica wrote:

    You think this would work with dried pineapple weed?

  5. Maria wrote:

    Hells yeah it’d work! It was great with dried chamomile.

  6. erica wrote:

    Well I still haven’t gone to the store for vodka but there is dried camomile in the closet for when the day comes, and I can completely relate to wanting more liqueur. I’ve been drinking a spicy Angelica liqueur from last summer…

  7. erica wrote:

    I found a STASH of pineapple weed. Happy happy. Infusing in vodka now.

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